Wayne Bennett’s face told the story after South Sydney’s opening round 26-18 loss to the Storm.

Wayne Bennett’s face told the story after South Sydney’s opening round 26-18 loss to the Storm.

The Rabbitohs got off to the worst possible start against a faster Melbourne team, giving up 22 points as the Storm ripped the Bunnies to shreds with four tries inside the first 30 minutes.

The bulky Rabbitohs were made to pay up the middle as Melbourne utitlised their smaller players around the ruck, while also giving the ball some air to the edges, adding plenty of variety to their attack.

Although a spirited comeback in the second half gave Bennett a reason to be optimistic about the team’s chances this season, that didn’t stop the master coach from unloading.

“That first half was awful,” Bennett said post match.

“After that it was just doing the best you can.

“We never gave ourselves a chance. Two weeks ago we didn’t make a handling error in a half and we come out tonight and we were full of errors defensively and handling.

“So it comes back to attitude and it wasn’t there, was it?”

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Bennett said his side was inconsistent and failed to match the Storm’s thirst for work on both sides of the ball. He said the “hype” around his team was swirling in the lead up to the season opener, and some of the players didn’t show up with the required attitude to play the premiers.

“Melbourne were good and they always are and it’s a credit to the way they play and they wanted it more than we did,” Bennett said.

“There could have been a bit of hype (around the Rabbitohs), but there will be no hype around them today now so that will be good.”

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Despite taking aim at the team as a whole, Bennett singled out veteran Benji Marshall and Jai Arrow as the players who put the team in a position to get back into the game. Souths had several chances to get back on level terms but handling errors let them down.

“We had to do something so I was pleased we played well for 30 minutes,” Bennett said.

“But then we just self-destructed with 10 minutes to go and did all the stupid things again.

“There is probably part of the equation Benji Marshall and Jai Arrow playing their first games for South Sydney and wanting to impress everybody and there were a whole lot of other guys that have played a lot of games for South Sydney and they were hoping we could get an easy night.”

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