McGregor: We Lost The Ground
By Chris Kennedy (NRL.com)
After their coach Paul McGregor reflected how his side "lost the ground" in a 18-14 Charity Shield loss to the Rabbitohs, his forward pack says they need to find a way to increase their intensity heading into the season proper.
Both sides were underwhelming with the ball in their first proper hit-out of the year but McGregor was unhappy with his opposition's dominance in the ruck – though he said it will only become a concern if it continues into the regular season.
"They won the ground. Across the park they won the ground all day. A lot of intent in what they were about and we lacked it," he said.
He noted the team did use 24 players, plenty of whom had barely played together in a match situation before, and hoped next week's trial against the Warriors in Nelson would iron out the kinks.
"Come next week we've got some work to do but we'll be OK. I'm confident with our playing group, there's no doubt about that but I thought a Charity Shield should have been a bit more than that," he added.
Russell Packer, having played his second match for the Red V in as many weeks, said the playing group was disappointed and looking for an increase in intensity.
"We talked about it after the game. Just our intent was not there for whatever reason. We've got to learn from that and go forward next week and find a way to rectify that and come out and be more intense and control things a little bit more," Packer said.
"It's a good learning curve there. We played a Souths team that didn't have as many of its top tier players. We've just got to review the game and right our wrongs basically."
New recruit Dunamis Lui was one of the side's better forwards when he came from the interchange bench and he said the result didn't reflect how hard the club had worked over the off-season.
"Tonight didn't show how good our pre-season was. We started off a bit slow," Lui told NRL.com.
"They got on top of us early and it was hard for us to get out of it. Our second half was all right but we were a bit far back to get on top.
"Hopefully we can go back to the drawing board and show everyone how good we are next week.
"I thought we could have played a lot better tonight, it's just a shame we didn't put in the performance we're capable of.
"It was still a trial for us, hopefully by Round 1 we'll be firing."