Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor refuses to concede his head is on the chopping block even as his NRL team sit on the cusp of unwanted history.
Taylor’s critics are already sharpening their knives in the wake of their 60-6 flogging at the hands of Canberra last week, their sixth consecutive defeat.
The loss re-ignited speculation about Taylor’s tenure and a rift with his players, after former playmaker Braith Anasta claimed he had lost the dressingroom.
Going into Thursday night’s clash with South Sydney, the Tigers are looking to avoid losing seven straight for just the second time in the history of the joint venture, according to Fox Sports Stats.
They are also coming off a five-day turnaround and will be without their starting front row with Tim Grant joining influential skipper Aaron Woods on the injured list.
Taylor described criticism of his side as unwarranted and said those calling for his head had short memories.
“I think it’s really clear to see from the performances that we’ve had so far this season have been full of character, full of great character,” Taylor said.
“It was only six days prior to the Canberra game that we took the Melbourne Storm into extra time and played a really strong game.
“On the back of one performance, I find that stuff disappointing, but that comes on the back of a 60-6 loss. You’ve got to expect it but you move on.”
The match shapes as judgment day with the Rabbitohs winning just one of their past six and big question marks about the fitness of skipper Greg Inglis.
Halfback Adam Reynolds is expected to take the field, despite suffering what was feared to be a recurrence of a broken jaw against Brisbane last week.
Despite their comprehensive 30-8 loss to Brisbane last week, Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said: “I think there are a lot of things that are firing.
“On the weekend we showed signs that the little things that matter in our team were shown on the ground.”
STAT THAT MATTER
* The Rabbitohs go in on a three-game losing streak and have only once lost four straight under coach Michael Maguire.
* After putting on 90 points in their opening two games, the Rabbitohs have not passed 20 points in any of their past six.
* Wests Tigers back-rower Chris Lawrence is just three tries short of equalling Benji Marshall’s club record of 76.