Damien Cook insists the Rabbitohs have responded positively to their loss to rivals the Roosters at the weekend and are welcoming their next test against a defeated Melbourne Storm.
The NSW Origin and Kangaroos rake added that he’d support the return of Cameron Murray to the middle, with Wayne Bennett currently experimenting with the elusive lock playing on the left edge.
South Sydney have dropped their past two games against fellow heavyweights the Roosters and Broncos, and will face a Storm outfit eager for redemption after their telling loss to Canberra on Saturday.
Without star five-eighth Cody Walker, who remains suspended until round five, the Rabbitohs did their best to stay in the fight against the Roosters but were outclassed in attack.
However, Cook said the side’s 1-2 start to the season and last Friday’s loss to the premiers wasn’t a cause for panic in Rabbitohs camp.
“Wayne was quite happy with a lot of things that came out of that game,” Cook told Sky Sports Radio. “After the first few rounds we just tweaked a few things and felt there were some good improvements.
“I know the scoreline they got us by a few points but off a couple of kicks, so we won’t take too much out of that.
“Moving forward, where we lost the game the most was probably the first 10 minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of second half is where the Roosters did their damage.
“So we wanted to start fast and that’s not what we want to pride ourselves on this year too so we need to fix that straight away.”
With the retirement of club stalwart Sam Burgess last year, Origin star Murray has been trusted to fill the void left by the Englishman at second-row.
However, Murray was a revelation for the Rabbitohs in his primary position at lock last season, and Cook admits he’d like to see a shift back into the middle for his Origin teammate.
“I wouldn’t mind [Murray being shifted back into lock] personally just to get more time with him in the middle,” Cook said.
“I’ve built a similar combination that I’ve got with Cody [Walker].. and it’s similar to the one I have with Cam as well.
“We know how each other plays so a bit more time with Cam in the middle I’d definitely enjoy.”
The Rabbitohs will travel down to Melbourne on Friday as they look to end a two-game losing streak against last year’s semi-final opponents.
The Storm themselves perhaps guilty of now adapting to the newer rules and faster conditions, Craig Bellamy’s side will be desperate to avenge last Saturday’s loss to Canberra.
Cook admitted it’s a tough proposition facing a Storm side out for redemption but one his side looks forward to.
“Getting Melbourne after a loss isn’t the best thing,” he said.
“They’ll fix that right away [loss to Canberra], so it’s going to be quite a clash. We almost got the win down there last time so it’s going to be a tough game of footy.
“They’ve got some great players, Cameron Munster could be one of the most dangerous players with this new six-again rules with a fatigued defensive line.”
Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs number nine suggested star centre James Roberts is likely to be given another week on the sidelines after returning to training following a brief stint in a rehabilitation centre during the coronavirus lockdown.