South Sydney players have leapt to the defence of Michael Maguire following Chris Grevsmuhl’s parting shot at the Rabbitohs coach.
After his NRL mid-season departure to Penrith, Grevsmuhl claimed that Maguire played mind games with the back-rower and he could no longer serve under him.
However Souths players, including superstar Sam Burgess, praised Maguire’s management skills and said fault didn’t lie with their premiership-winning mentor.
“I’m sorry Chris feels that way,” Burgess said.
“We wish him all the best at Penrith and we’ve got to move on and focus on what we’re doing here. I’m sorry to see him go.”
Maguire and Grevsmuhl had a falling out after the side’s round nine defeat to Wests Tigers when the 23-year-old had his mental application questioned by the Souths coach.
Grevsmuhl, who had already signed with the Panthers for 2017, was granted an early release.
His comments will only intensify speculation about Maguire, who is seen as a harsh authoritarian and has been plagued by rumours of players unrest over the past two years.
However hooker Cameron McInnes praised him as a “people person” while forward Jason Clark said he had managed him well.
“It’s not too good that (Grevsmuhl) feels that way, that’s the way he is,” Clark said.
“I don’t know about the mind games. With football, you get dropped in and out of first grade quite often.”