Frus­trated Lang los­ing pa­tience

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

SOUTH Syd­ney coach John Lang’s frus­tra­tion with an un­der­per­form­ing sta­ble of stars is clearly grow­ing, but he says it’s more likely oth­ers are an­gry with him.

The Rab­bitohs blew a lead for the sec­ond week run­ning to be none from two in 2011, while Lang was seen on tele­vi­sion for the sec­ond straight week ex­press­ing his dis­gust at his side’s per­for­mance.

Pre­vi­ously re­garded as one of the game’s more mild man­nered types, the vet­eran coach seems de­ter­mined to en­sure the back end of his ca­reer is more bang than whim­per.

‘‘ I don’t think you’ve got any right to be an­gry,’’ he said af­ter Souths’ 28-19 loss to Can­ter­bury at ANZ Sta­dium yes­ter­day. ‘‘ It’s dis­ap­point ment, frus­tra­tion prob­a­bly.

‘‘ In the end it’s my job to get them play­ing well so other peo­ple might be an­gry with me.’’

The 60-year-old is off-con­tract at the end of the sea­son and re­fuses to spec­u­late on whether he wants to con­tinue.

The choice might not be Lang’s, though, if Souths, who have now slid to equal eighth favourites for the ti­tle, don’t im­prove fast.

‘‘ I try and pick the best side each week but if your very best play­ers don’t play well, you’ve got to get them play­ing well,’’ Lang ex­plained.

‘‘ We had a num­ber of play­ers that didn’t play well this week and we had a num­ber of play­ers didn’t play well last week but they weren’t the same ones.

‘‘ Play­ers have to be con­sis­tent week-in week-out, that’s our trou­ble.’’

Cap­tain Roy Aso­tasi said the play­ers took re­spon­si­bil­ity for ca­pit­u­lat­ing losses to the Syd­ney Roost­ers and now the Bull­dogs.

‘‘ We’re the ones that are out there,’’ Aso­tasi said.

‘‘ Johnny can only give us what we need to do out there and we’re the ones that are ac­tu­ally run­ning out there and play­ing.

‘‘ If we miss a tackle it’s not John’s fault, it’s us.’’

The Rab­bitohs are among four sides yet to open their ac­count in 2011, join­ing the War­riors, last-placed Gold Coast and Cronulla, who take on St Ge­orge Illawarra at Toy­ota Sta­dium tonight.

At the other end of the ta­ble, New­cas­tle sit top af­ter prov­ing their win over Pen­rith in round one was no fluke with a 34-22 away vic­tory over North Queens­land, but a repray­ing Jar­rod Mullen’s ster­num in­jury is not se­ri­ous.

Mel­bourne’s r es­ur­gence also con­tin­ued in stun­ning fash­ion with a 40-12 maul­ing of the Ti­tans.

The new-look Bull­dogs have moved into sec­ond favourites for the pre­mier­ship af­ter two straight wins, with coach Kevin Moore still able to see plenty of im­prove­ment.

BAT­TLERS: Souths gather be­hind their line af­ter an­other Bull­dogs try yes­ter­day

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