Go back 12 months and you'll see a South Sydney side sweating under the spotlight.
They'd just lost a Grand Final, the likes of Adam Reynolds, Dane Gagai and Wayne Bennett had departed, Latrell Mitchell was being continually questioned after his Joseph Manu tackle, and questions over Jason Demetriou arose as talks of 'the Bennett curse' settled in.
The loss of Adam Reynolds especially had the Redfern-based side constantly scrutinised, even as the season got underway, however Jason Demetriou is confident that this pre-season is a lot smoother than his first as head coach.
“We've got a really settled squad. We're in a much better position than we were this time last year, no major surgeries,” Demetriou told Fox Sports.
“You park last season but you still review it and make sure that when we come back in January (with the full squad) that we know the little margins that we need to improve and are clear on the direction we're going.
“The players took a lot of confidence out of the back end of the year last year. I think we won 10 of our last 13 against top-six sides so that puts us in a good place.
“But it's a different year, we need to get the pre-season right and worry about the start of the season.”
While the club hasn't recruited anyone with NRL experience, they have a host of youngsters rising through the ranks, as well as recruiting young half Jye Gray from Brisbane, a five-eighth that stood out in the Mal Meninga squad.
Close to re-signing with the Rabbitohs on a two-year deal, hooker Damien Cook likes what he's sees in the squad this off-season.
“We've got a really good squad here at the moment, no big changes from last year and a couple of young boys coming up the pathways,” Cook said.
“We're in a really good position where a lot of teams have changed some key positions and we're better for the run from last season.”
While a large portion of their squad lined up in the World Cup, some are trickling back into training already despite not being expected back until January 5th.