SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval on March 3, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

News that young forward Chris Grevsmuhl will make an immediate move to the Panthers after reports of a falling out with coach Michael McGuire have Souths fans looking toward the sky in bemusement.

The reports come after a horror run that has seen Souths lose their last four games, including clashes with the struggling Roosters and Tigers.

Incredibly the man who guided South Sydney to an NRL title just two seasons ago in McGuire looks to be under huge pressure.

Loading

Following a disappointing 2015 season, the Bunnies cleared the decks to bring back their premiership hero Sam Burgess, shedding the likes of Glenn Stewart and Dylan Walker in the process.

Although the season still has a long way to go, Burgess’s impact is yet to really justified moving on the club’s strike centre, among others.

Just this week Burgess has come out and proclaimed he is not the saviour, indicating that the pressure is being felt by the Bunnies marquee man.

It would be incredibly harsh to place blame on Burgess for the form slump of the famous red and green, as although he hasn’t reproduced his 2014 form, he has been far from bad.

Greg Inglis, Souths other marquee superstar, is having a less than stellar season amidst rumours he is carrying an injury.

Although he too has been far from poor, he has failed to produce the match-winning performances we have come to expect on a consistent basis.

McGuire has even taken the unforeseen step of moving Inglis into the halves for their round 10 fixture, allowing Alex Johnston to slot into the fullback role.

Inglis’s loss of form has been such that he was overlooked for his preferred position in Friday’s ANZAC test. Although his performance in the centres was a strong one, he is now at long odds to play in the number one jersey for Queensland.

The shift into the halves is hoped to reignite the form of Inglis, but is a shot to the confidence of both Luke Keary and Cody Walker, both of whom had been seen as long-term partners to Adam Reynolds.

Although I fully expect the Inglis shift to be a temporary one, this certainly won’t ease rumours that Keary is on his way out of the club at the end of the season.

Given the struggles in the halves, Souths outside backs have also struggled. Johnston’s return should provide a much needed spark, as unfortunately the likes of Goodwin, Gray and co have been outplayed on a regular basis.

Hymel Hunt was arguably South’s most consistent back, but injury will see him likely miss the rest of the season.

Despite having both Cameron McInnes and Damien Cook on their books, neither is providing the spark expected after their efforts in 2015.

Cook was recruited on the back of a series of incredible performances for the Bulldogs toward the tail end of last season, but his efforts off the bench have not forced McGuire’s hand to elevate him to the run-on side week-to-week.

So, what is going on at Souths?

Reports of unrest within the Bunnies squad have been very public for a long while now. Russel Crowe apologised to Luke Keary after comments made by Crowe indicated that only the Burgess brothers can be happy with their 2015 efforts.

That, combined with the very scary story of two young players almost paying a huge price after an overdose of prescription medication, meant that Souths entered 2016 on the back of an unsettled pre-season.

Throw in injuries to John Sutton, Adam Reynolds and an ongoing problem that seems to be hampering Greg Inglis, and times are tough at Redfern.

This is the first time during his reign that Michael McGuire has been under any pressure.

It’s now unfortunately at the point where players are walking out of a club that, in 2014, was among the clubs that every player was interested in joining.

Under performing stars, bad luck with injury, off-field distractions and other factors are making life tough for Souths fans.

It’s now up to Michael McGuire to find a way out of the rut, or face a very demanding club hierarchy.

Comments are closed.