Souths coach Jason Demetriou was frustrated with the no-obstruction call on Dylan Edwards’ try, but was more disappointed with his side’s defence in their 26-22 loss to the Panthers.
The Rabbitohs led 22-20, before surrendering a lead with three minutes to go after a Latrell Mitchell penalty and a try to Liam Martin and Demetriou admitted he didn’t understand the Edwards try in the first half.
“I don’t know I honestly give up trying to figure out what that rule is,” Demetriou said.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
“He stops in the line and there is no effort or way Lachie (Ilias) can get off that.
“But we conceded 26 points and we shouldn’t be conceding 26 points in a game when they are missing their two most creative players, so a few blokes missed their assignments in defence tonight and that’s what cost us.”
Demetriou was frustrated his side was able to get to the lead with a Mitchell sideline conversion, before failing to ice the result.
“When we get to 22-20 we should put that game away,” Demetriou said.
“It is probably three or four games this year we have lost by a point or in the dying stages where we have come up with individual errors and off the back of that conceded points, so it something we need to fix going into the big games.”
MORE NRL NEWS
‘JUDGMENT CALL’: Debate rages as Bunker changes ‘black and white’ obstruction
‘SO RIGHTEOUS’: Tallis calls for Souths to target Panthers amid Arrow-Leniu feud
Souths winger Jaxson Paulo had one of the all-time shockers with his handling, but Demetriou refused to blame the loss on the youngster, who will learn from histough night at the office.
“We will sit down and have a conversation, but against the best teams that is the level that you have got to get to,” Demetriou said of Paulo’s game.
“As a young bloke you understand every error makes a difference and has an impact on the game.
“But I still think we should have defended better. Liam Martin scores a barge over to win the game. We have got to nail that.
“That’s a tackle that we should make and we don’t make it.”
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!
On a bright note Demetriou was happy with his side’s attack, but that has never been in question for this Souths side and he conceded their defence needs to improve dramatically to contend for the title.
“I was really happy with how we attacked,” Demetriou said.
“We ended up with more linebreaks than them at the end of the game, but we just gifted them two tries from kicks and barge over tries.
“They are tries that we can’t concede when we are playing against a team that doesn’t have the creativity that they normally have.
“We needed to get ahead on the scoreboard and put some pressure on them to play and we weren’t able to do that up until the last few minutes, but again we didn’t deal with what we needed to with three minutes to go.”
Demetriou was not about to hit the panic button, but conceded Souths were given a lesson in what is required to go all the way in the competition from the defending premiers.
“I’m not worried about it because we are playing against a team with some fairly good players in it,” Demetriou said.
“There was still four or five Origin players out there for Penrith and every one of them played well.
“I’m not disheartened, but it did give us a lesson on the level we need to get to if we want to be in the big dance at the end of the season.
“I thought we went away from our processes a little bit and what works for us.
“But we got ourselves into a position to win the game with three minutes to go and we just didn’t ice it.
“In the end it was defensive lapses and an error that cost us.”