South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett is renowned as a man of few words, but one Rabbitohs star was taken aback by just how frosty a reception the team got in the sheds following their 56-12 shellacking at the hands of Penrith.
Bennett publicly said sorry to regional footy fans in Dubbo after the Rabbitohs’ crushing defeat which was the second time losing by 50 points or more in the last three rounds. And privately, it’s what Bennett didn’t say that cut his players deepest.
“After the game he did not say one word,” Souths hooker Damien Cook told Sky Sports Radio’s The Big Sports Breakfast about Bennett’s post-game reaction.
“Normally he will at least say a couple but by the time we got in the sheds he wasn’t even there.
“He had gone to the press conference and we were just told to get in the showers and get out of there. That was probably the worst thing you can get from a coach.”
The loss hit the team hard with departing Souths star Adam Reynolds admitting they were all “hurting”, but they vowed to learn from it as they still sit fourth on the NRL ladder, well in Premiership contention despite their hurdles.
“Every person is different in how they respond to it,” Reynolds told media this week.
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“For me it is motivation going forward. You don’t want embarrassment again. You can use that hurt and pain to get better. It’s not hard for us as individuals to go out and want to play some good footy.
“We’ve highlighted points where we’d been poor and defence is at the forefront of that. We know we were well-below par and embarrassing on the weekend. Everyone is hurting down there and we want to make sure we go out on the weekend and it doesn’t happen again.”