Rabbitohs No.9 expects forwards to step up against Warriors
RUGBY LEAGUE: South Sydney hooker Damien Cook believes none of their performances have been up to scratch this season and a shock loss to Manly should jolt them into action against New Zealand on the Sunshine Coast.
The Rabbitohs suffered their first defeat of the campaign, beaten 13-12 in a round four thriller at Lottoland on Sunday and the star No.9 said they likely had it coming.
"We had a few wins leading into the weekend but to be honest we weren't happy with the performances in probably all of those games."
"We hadn't put an 80-minute performance together so the Manly game was probably something we were going towards."
Cook said the result should spark the side.
"That's probably woken us up a little bit and shown us we need to be on our game week in and week out," he said.
"We need to really fix the areas in our game that we need to, to be competitive this year."
The Rabbitohs boast a powerful pack but Cook said they had been inconsistent.
"We've been quite dominant in parts of games but we had a slow start against the Dragons. Against the Roosters we had a 20-minute lapse, when we let them into the game and in round three, we also came out of the blocks slow (against the Titans)."
"We know it's early (in the season) but we want to fix those areas as soon as possible and start building to something."
Cook expects his team to respond at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, when the battle of the forwards should be crucial.
"They (the Warriors) have got a strong pack who are going to go forward so we really need to make sure we stop their momentum," he said.
"Our pack really needs to match up against those guys to get the job done.
"We've got a really good pack at South Sydney and they're ready to step up and put on a good performance. That's what we've been looking for."
With Tom and Sam Burgess, Tevita Tatola, John Sutton and Cameron Murray, along with the likes of George Burgess, Mark Nichols and Ethan Lowe, the Rabbitohs indeed have some heavy artillery.
The Warriors have some powerful men in their engine room as well, with the likes of Agnatius Paasi and Leeson Ah Mau, Tohu Harris, Lachlan Burr, Isaiah Harris, Adam Blair, Bunty Afoa and Ligi Sao.
New Zealand's coming off the back of a 26-10 win over the Gold Coast.
The match is due to kick-off at 3pm and will follow a curtain raiser featuring the Sunshine Coast Falcons, who are undefeated in the Queensland Cup.