While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Co-captains Roy Asotasi and David Kidwell have exonerated coach Jason Taylor of any blame for South Sydney's winless start to the season instead pointing the finger at the players after seven straight losses.
Taylor dismissed suggestions he needed to drop players after Friday's nights' 32-18 Anzac Day loss to Brisbane, maintaining his resolve that the Rabbitohs were not as bad as some critics - including Souths great John Sattler's "worst ever" tag - were making out.
Taylor said looking to his reserve grade players right now was not the answer.
"At this stage, that's not really the answer, the answer is to keep working hard with the players we've got," said Taylor adding his players were making embarrassing errors.
"We've got quality players in this team and we have to hang tough and face the facts that right now we're just not good enough to win."
Kidwell was distressed after the loss which he said was "embarrassing" while New Zealand captain Asotasi described his side's football as no better than "schoolboy stuff".
Both Kiwi internationals spoke out to teammates after Friday night's loss calling on them to get up to first grade standard and support their coach.
"After so many losses, you just run out of excuses," said Asotasi.
"It's time for the players to take the blame because JT (Taylor) is up there giving us simple instructions but we're just not doing it.
"That's why I say we're playing like school kids and not listening to him.
"We're playing like individuals and that just doesn't work in first grade - you have to play as a team.".
Kidwell backed his Kiwi Test partner, saying Taylor was doing his best.
"It's definitely not JT's fault that's for sure," said Kidwell.
"It's us not listening to him and each other."
Souths were 26-6 down before hitting back midway through the second half to get to within 10 points of Brisbane late in the game when they finally controlled the football.
The rear guard action, although much too late, was enough for Taylor to drag some positives from the wreckage of another loss in which Souths were guilty of letting in a few very soft tries, including one to Broncos hooker Michael Ennis close to the line in the 53rd minute which took the wind of Souths' hopes of a comeback.
"It showed what we can do when we do when we hold the football," said Taylor.
"We're not that far away.
"We're here disappointed giving you (media) the facts as we see them.
"We're not hiding from anything but we know we can fix it up and very quickly.
"There were some positive signs tonight.
"We scored some good tries and we'll get there, we'll get there.
"But we have to face real facts right now and at the moment it's not good enough."