Pressure is mounting on South Sydney coach Michael Maguire after a host of unwanted records came tumbling down on his side in their 54-4 NRL drubbing by Canberra on Sunday.
Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson made recent assurances about Maguire’s position but hard questions will be asked of Maguire and his playing group following the 10-tries-to-one humiliation before a small home crowd of 10,076 at ANZ Stadium.
It was the foundation club’s worst loss in a decade – not since their 66-0 defeat to the Warriors in 2006 have they been on the end of such a scoreline.
It was also their biggest loss under Maguire, and the first time since his arrival at Redfern in 2012 that they have let in 50 points.
It was their worst-ever home loss and their biggest-ever defeat to Canberra.
Premiers in 2014, they have now lost eight straight and conceded 20-plus points in their last 13 matches, sending alarm bells ringing as they languish in 13th on the ladder.
“When you’re had that many points scored against you, it’s really the most disappointing part,” Maguire said.
“We’re a very proud club and when you’ve had that many points scored against you it’s not a very nice thing to go through.
“But it’ll determine the character of who we become.”
Rumours of player unrest have dogged the club this year with Rabbitohs management forced to deny Tom Burgess was being shopped around to rivals while Paul Carter and Kirisome Auva’a were earlier this month sacked for misbehaviour.
Bad as Souths were, there is no denying the rise and rise of Ricky Stuart’s Raiders, who climbed to third on the ladder, sending a statement to rivals ahead of clashes with heavyweights Cronulla and Melbourne in the next fortnight.
Meanwhile, Manly continued their late-season march, racking up their fourth win on the trot to move to within two points of the top eight.
Fullback Tom Trbojevic and returning five-eighth Dylan Walker starred as the Sea Eagles ran out 36-16 winners over stragglers Newcastle at Brookvale Oval.
Melbourne all but secured a top two spot when they defeated a Johnathan Thurston-less North Queensland on Saturday night thanks to a classy performance from Cooper Cronk.
Wests Tigers kept their top eight hopes alive with a 23-6 victory over Parramatta, however it came at a cost with halfback Luke Brooks suffering a knee injury which is expected to keep him out for three to five weeks.
Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson scored a match-winning try in Saturday’s golden point 20-16 win over Penrith to jump his side into the top eight.
Canterbury ground out a dour 13-10 win over St George Illawarra in a game marred by controversy, with Josh Reynolds charged with tripping and Tyson Frizell (touching referee) and Joel Thompson (high tackle) both facing a week on the sidelines.
The Sydney Roosters rebounded with a 32-16 win over Brisbane on Thursday night with ex-Bronco Dale Copley delivering a message to Wayne Bennett with a two-try haul.