Spurred by the loss of assistant coaches Kurt Wrigley and Wayne Collins, South Sydney’s players are determined to use their last three games to make things right for 2017.
The Rabbitohs announced last week Wrigley and Collins would be replaced and the players concede it inspired them to their 19-point NRL win over the Warriors on Saturday.
Out of finals contention for the first time since 2011, Souths say they don’t have to look far for inspiration ahead of their final three games against Cronulla, Newcastle and Canterbury either.
“We want to go out there and play for our coaching staff who are here now and aren’t going to be here next year,” back-rower Kyle Turner told AAP on Friday.
“They’ve put in a lot of time and effort to the team and pretty much coached us to the 2014 grand final.
“We just want to put in a good performance for them.”
Wrigley has been at Souths since 2010 and Collins 2012 and they have played formidable roles in turning the Rabbitohs again into a premiership force.
But the club has opted to add the experienced David Furner and Paul Devlin to head coach Michael Maguire’s staff for next year after sinking to nine straight losses and 13th on the ladder.
“It was sad Madge and the club made the call. It probably did put a bit of a ‘let’s do it for them’ in us,” lock John Sutton said.
However Sutton, a former captain of the club, believes the motivation to play for the pair will prove vital in setting the tone for next season given the low rate of player turnaround at the club.
“The way we can finish will lead into the pre-season which will lead into the year next year,” he said.
“Everyone is still busting to come in every day focused and just get everything done at training for the weekend.”