Souths skipper defends under-fire coach Jason Demetriou after nightmare start to the season: ‘He’s been dragged through the mud’

  • Cameron Murray defends Souths coach Jason Demetriou
  • Says the coach didn’t deserve what was dished to him
  • Rabbitohs have had a horror start to the NRL season

Cameron Murray has provided Jason Demetriou’s strongest defense yet. He says the embattled South Sydney coach has been ‘dragged through the mud’ during his side’s difficult start to the season.

The Souths captain said the players had been hurt by outside speculation about Demetriou’s future and had made a pact to weaponize the pain and turn around their faltering campaign.

The drums were beating well for Demetriou ahead of the Rabbitohs’ final match before their round seven bye – which they entered having won just four of their previous fifteen matches.

But the Rabbitohs showed enough progress in a brave 34-22 loss to Cronulla for Demetriou to keep his job, with the side overcoming three mid-match injuries to push the high-flying Sharks.

Only wins can ease the pressure in the long term, and the Rabbitohs have made the move to hire new assistant coach David Furner as they chase a second win in 2024.

Cameron Murray says his under-fire coach Jason Demetriou has been ‘dragged through the mud’ during his side’s difficult start to the season

Demetriou's coaching skills have been questioned following his side's shocking season so far

Demetriou’s coaching skills have been questioned following his side’s shocking season so far

Demetriou’s detractors have questioned his ability to deal with the bigger personalities in the playing group, an issue raised by former Souths assistant Sam Burgess before his sudden departure last season.

But Murray said the Rabbitohs remained united behind Demetriou and gave the coach the most effusive defense of any Souths player to date.

β€œWe want to play good football for him because he doesn’t deserve the things that are being said about him in the media and being dragged through the mud like he has been in the last month,” Murray said.

β€œIt’s something we’ve worked quite hard on as a playing group and it’s something we’ve emphasized: we want to play for him.

β€œWe want to make sure we use it as motivation to get some wins together. We all love him here and have confidence in his coaching ability.

“I don’t think he deserves what’s being thrown at him.”

The Rabbitohs enjoyed three days off in their first farewell of the season, with players and coach returning to Heffron Park with a spring in their step.

β€œ(Demetriou) has been pretty good considering the circumstances,” Murray said.

Murray says the Souths team is united behind their coach, who has not deserved the blame

Murray says the Souths team is united behind their coach, who has not deserved the blame

Murray says Demetriou has done well given the circumstances

Murray says Demetriou has done well given the circumstances

β€œHe shows up, does his best to be better than he was yesterday and continues to fight and be the leader that he is.

‘We are still cheerful, go to training with a smile on our faces and can do what we love every day.’

The Rabbitohs have five games before their next bye and face heavyweights Melbourne and Penrith in the next two weeks.

Clashes with the volatile St. George Illawarra and North Queensland follow shortly afterwards.

Murray hopes the week off can help Souths restart a potentially season-defining five weeks.

β€œYou probably need (a break) in times like these. Everyone is feeling pretty fresh now,” he said.

β€œWe have looked at the next block of games and emphasized what we want to stand for, who we are. It’s a new slate for us.”