MELBOURNE - Taken to school by Melbourne, South Sydney coach Michael Maguire believes his players have learned the lessons to refloat their sinking NRL finals campaign.
The Rabbitohs' 24-6 loss in Saturday's qualifying final deflated the feelgood factor around a rare finals appearance for the club.
Early ill-discipline and what appeared finals nerves — though Maguire denied his players had frozen up — left Souths trailing 18-0 at half-time and the match effectively over.
The ultra-professional Storm didn't give Souths a sniff for the rest of the match, defending brilliantly and only letting them cross the tryline once with game already lost.
Yet Maguire is bullish the Rabbitohs can bounce back, and the experience of being towelled up by the red-hot Storm can prove valuable in next weekend's sudden-death clash with the winners of Sunday's Canberra-Cronulla qualifying final.