South Sydney have vowed to put Sunday night’s golden-point agony behind them when they attempt to get their finals hopes back on track in Friday night’s clash with Wests Tigers.
The Rabbitohs thought they had beaten Gold Coast in Perth on Sunday when Adam Reynolds nailed a 20m field goal in golden-point extra time.
But South Sydney’s ecstasy quickly turned to agony when the video referee denied the winning point because of a Nathan Brown obstruction.
Minutes later, the Titans were celebrating a 29-28 win when Ash Taylor kicked truly in the second half of extra time.
The result put a major dent in South Sydney’s title hopes, with the Rabbitohs now precariously placed in ninth position with a 5-7 record.
South Sydney were fortunate to even take Sunday’s game to extra time after falling behind 18-0 early in the second half.
Coach Michael Maguire was left fuming after watching his team commit a number of unforced errors, saying their inability to complete sets on a regular basis was something they needed to fix.
But he said the player group would move on quickly from the heartbreaking nature of their loss to Gold Coast.
“We’ve got a very professional group of players,” Maguire said.
“It’s a pretty simple fix if individuals look after the ball and we put pressure on the opposition.
“If we hang on to the ball and we get our plays on, we’d be sitting here in a different situation.”
Utility back Luke Keary was on crutches after the game with a rolled ankle, but he remains a chance to take on Wests Tigers in what’s shaping as a must-win encounter.
Gold Coast (6-6) have now won three games on the trot, with their thrilling win over the Rabbitohs lifting them into eight spot.
And although coach Neil Henry isn’t getting carried away just yet, he said the win over South Sydney could prove crucial in his team’s fate.
“It’s a massive swing, losing or winning one of these games. I’m just glad we were on the winning side,” Henry said.
“We’re starting to trust each other with what we’re trying to do out there and build a bit of confidence.”
Nathan Peats hurt his elbow against the Rabbitohs, but the reserve hooker is expected to be available for Saturday night’s clash with his former club Parramatta.