New coach helps Bunnies focus on Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New coach helps Bunnies focus on Saints

Ben Horne 17/04/2011 05:36:19 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney five-eighth John Sutton says the naming of Michael Maguire as their coach for next season has enabled the Rabbitohs to focus ahead of Monday night's key NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

For weeks Rabbitohs players have had to deal with speculation about who'll coach them next season, but now the uncertainty is over.

The timing couldn't be better as the inconsistent Bunnies need to be on their game if they're to push the defending premiers at ANZ Stadium.

"It hasn't been bothering me (the coach issue), but it's all been done now so we don't have to worry about that stuff anymore and we can get on with the game," Sutton told AAP.

Their last-start flogging at the hands of the Wests Tigers, means Souths will need plenty of spring to bounce back.

While their attack has generally clicked, the Rabbitohs leading into the weekend had the worst defensive record in the competition.

Sutton concedes they'll need to tighten up their tackling.

"After last week's performance we really need to improve a lot in so many areas and we're playing the Dragons this week which is a big challenge in itself," he said.

"We've been training hard all week working on our defence and hopefully come out tomorrow and put on a good show.

"I think defending for the whole 80 minutes and competing against the Dragons for 80 minutes will be the key.

"They're so good at it, so we'll have to put in a wholehearted performance tomorrow and hopefully come away with the win."

St George Illawarra have hit their straps in recent weeks, and are on a three-match winning streak.

However, Newcastle and Canterbury have pushed them all the way in their two latest victories, and coach Wayne Bennett said aiming up every week is something the team has had to get used to as champions.

"It does come with the territory, but we're focused on that now and I think our last month our performances have shown that," Bennett told 95.3FM.

"We've cometo the reality of what's in front of us, and every game is tough but as we did against Canterbury last week and in Newcastle, we weathered the storm and stayed with it.

"There's a great confidence in the team now and if you stick with it because you know it works ... that's what makes it all very effective."

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