Tough talking has Souths back on NRL track

Souths are hoping to bounce back against Manly following their convincing loss to the Roosters.
Souths are hoping to bounce back against Manly following their convincing loss to the Roosters.

Some tough talking has helped get South Sydney back on track for Friday's NRL finals clash with Manly after a shattering loss against their local rivals.

The Rabbitohs were thrashed 30-6 by Sydney Roosters last Friday and now face a sudden death semi-final against Manly.

"We came in Monday morning, had a few conversations and were pretty honest to each other about what we need to do to improve," Adam Doueihi told AAP.

"A few of the boys were ill during the week and a few of us were carrying injuries, but that's not an excuse this time of the year, every team is.

"We can't really put a finger on why we didn't turn up, I guess it was an individual thing for most of us.

"Me personally I failed to get into the game and they exposed our edge pretty early and that dented my confidence a bit and I struggled to get into the game after that."

Souths coach Wayne Bennett displayed some candour of his own when he admitted he erred in putting versatile Doueihi on the wing.

Doueihi is expected to return to fullback this week.

"I feel much more confident at fullback and I feel that's where I play my best footy," Doueihi said.

"My confidence levels are high, I had a good session yesterday.

Asked what defensive flaws the Rabbitohs had identified from last week's game Doueihi said 'it was a weird one'.

"We've been building on our defence so brilliantly the past few weeks and I guess it just was a few boys not turning up.

"Not trusting our players, which is so big an offence and not communicating, errors in attack.

"We had a pretty tough session yesterday on the field and worked hard with our defence."

One distraction Doueihi is trying to reduce this week is social media interaction.

"I find it hard personally, I'm pretty big on social media," he said.

"If you read too much your head goes elsewhere and you start thinking other thoughts and that's not where you want to be before the game.

"I try and stay out of that as much as possible this week and just focus on footy and doing whatever it takes to get the win."

A former Australian schoolboys rugby representative, Doueihi is related to Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, whose side begin their Rugby World Cup campaign on the weekend.

"Hopefully he can prove a few people wrong and try and go deep into the tournament, you never know what Cheik has got up his sleeve," Doueihi said.

Australian Associated Press