South Sydney captain Greg Inglis has implored his teammates to stick tough after the embattled Rabbitohs fell to a third-straight NRL loss on Sunday.
The Bunnies blew a 12-point halftime lead to concede five second-half tries to Canberra at Cairns’s Barlow Park as the Raiders secured a 30-22 win.
Winger Edrick Lee picked up a double for the Raiders as they claimed their third consecutive away win and second victory in as many weeks after the fightback.
Following the loss, the first time Souths have lost three games on the spin under coach Michael Maguire, Inglis pulled his team together and delivered a blunt message of loyalty.
“Two weeks in a row, back-to-back, losing in the second half and that’s not what we stand for and what this team’s about,” Inglis said.
“I just got them together and we’ve got to stick together through this.
“We’re a team and we stick together. We’re a squad and we stick together. That’s what we stand by.”
Maguire backed his captain’s call, saying he wasn’t panicking despite the defeat being the Rabbitohs’ fourth in five games.
“Second half wasn’t good enough. A team came out and performed better than us in the second half,” he said.
“We’ve just got to make sure we stay at the things we’ve been practising and take them into the game.”
Souths trip back to Sydney will be further soured by a knee injury to star centre Dylan Walker, which forced the NSW State of Origin hopeful to limp from the field midway through the second half.
Forward Chris Grevsmuhl was also placed on report for a first-half high shot on Raiders’ winger Jordan Rapana.
Coach Ricky Stuart was cock-a-hoop after the victory, claiming it showed his team was being underrated by many.
The Raiders are now outside the top eight solely on points differential and Stuart said he just wants his players to keep confounding their critics.
“We’re not meant to win the big games. We’re just meant to turn up and be a part of it,” he said.
“There’s not a lot of respect there for the club and the players and I’m constantly talking to the boys about just keep being a nuisance.
“I feel like we are a nuisance a lot of the times and just keep being a nuisance to a lot of the teams.”
Souths’ task doesn’t get any easier with the Rabbitohs to face in-form St George Illawarra after the representative break while the Raiders host Gold Coast.