Russell Crowe move comes to light as Jason Demetriou fights to save Souths job

Demetriou's coaching role is under heavy scrutiny after a disastrous run of results.

Jason Demetriou is a man under pressure. There is no sidestepping around it. Souths have started the NRL season 0-3 and have now lost their fifth straight game dating back to last season. Go back a little further and it's now 12 defeats in the club's last 16 games but a reported move from co-owner Russell Crowe could prove crucial to Demetriou's future as coach.

The Rabbitohs' humiliating 48-6 mauling by fierce rivals the Roosters in round three merely threw up more questions at a club struggling for answers. Demetriou's decision to drop halfback Lachlan Ilias after just two games and dump Origin hooker Damien Cook to the bench failed to pay dividends against the rampant Roosters.

Pictured right to left Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe and Souths coach Jason Demetriou.
Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe reportedly sent a message to Souths powerbrokers as pressure mounts on coach Jason Demetriou. Pic: Getty

The Bunnies' attack once again failed to click, with five-eighth Cody Walker enduring another underwhelming game. Calls are also growing to shift Latrell Mitchell from fullback, with the superstar's positional awareness called out in a number of glaring moments against the Roosters that resulted in tries to Connor Watson and James Tedesco.

Mitchell has proven he's one of the game's best centres, with suggestions Demetriou could swap him with new recruit Jack Wighton - who ran hard and tackled hard but also failed to have an impact against the Roosters in his first game of the season. While the Rabbitohs' attack has struggled to fire, it's actually in defence where the biggest issues lie.

Jason Demetriou under the pump over Souths' poor form

The Bunnies have conceded a whopping 112 points over their first three games, ranking last in defence and with the worst points differential at -64. None of this bodes well for Demetriou, who reportedly has three games to prove to the club's powerbrokers that he is turning things around, or else faces the axe.

Both The Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph have reported that if Souths can't show improved form over their next three games, then Demetriou's future as coach is under serious threat. One massive plus for Demetriou's side is that their next three games are all at home against the Bulldogs, Warriors and Sharks, with club heavyweights telling the Telegraph there should be “no excuses” if they deliver more poor performances.


Another major factor in Demetriou's favour is the support of the club's celebrity co-owner. The Daily Telegraph has reported that Hollywood star Crowe sent a message to the club's hierarchy urging them to have patience and reminding the board that fortunes can change very quickly in rugby league. The same report says Demetriou's job is safe for now.

On the left is Souths coach Jason Demetriou and star fullback Latrell Mitchell on right.
Souths coach Jason Demetriou and star fullback Latrell Mitchell have both faced scrutiny after a poor start to the season. Pic: Getty

While that may be the case, the round four clash against the Bulldogs looms as one of the biggest games of Demetriou's short career as Rabbitohs coach. A fourth straight defeat would be catastrophic for Souths and it would surely intensify the pressure on Demetriou even more.

To make things even more interesting for Souths, the Bulldogs will head into Good Friday's clash at Accor Stadium high on confidence after destroying the hapless Titans 32-0 at Belmore in round three. Demetriou insists he'll have his side up for the contest, and that he's the right man to guide the Rabbitohs out of their rut.

"I've been with this group for a long time. I understand the group and I'm confident that we're on the same page and we're working together," he said. "I've got no doubt I'm the man who can turn it around but ultimately, what I sit here and say makes no difference to what people are going to say. The only thing that's going to make a difference is get our training right, get our performance right next week, get some results on the board."

with AAP