Demetriou storms out of Souths press conference

Scott Bailey
AAP
3 Min Read
Jason Demetriou has stormed out of press conference after less than 30 seconds.
Jason Demetriou has stormed out of press conference after less than 30 seconds. Credit: Bunnies TV

Under-fire South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou has stormed out of his pre-match press conference after 27 seconds following questions about his future.

Fighting to keep his job, Demetriou took four questions before abruptly walking away from media at the Rabbitohs’ Maroubra headquarters.

The South Sydney coach did not return, as questions linger over whether he will see out next week as coach if the Rabbitohs fail to beat Cronulla on Saturday.

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Demetriou’s press conference was shorter than Darius Boyd’s infamous 42-second effort in 2009, and Wayne Bennett’s 80 seconds of answers after a loss to Penrith in 2020.

In total, Demetriou offered 73 words in what could be his last pre-match press conference.

When first asked how he was, given the external talk around his job, Demetriou largely ignored the question.

“We’ve had a great week at training. The energy through the week has been outstanding,” he said.

Asked how he had blocked out the talk, Demetriou was defiant.

“There are new blokes coming in. Jye Gray, Ty Munro and Davvy Moale’s back,” he said.

“I’m excited by the energy they’ve brought.”

When asked how it had impacted him personally, Demetriou responded: “I’m really excited about the performance. I can’t wait.

“The energy is through the roof. I’m looking forward to it.”

Asked finally whether he felt he was coaching for his job, Demetriou walked straight back into the club’s offices after offering a brief answer.

“I believe I’m coaching for a great performance this week, and that’s what we’re going to get,” he said.

South Sydney CEO Blake Solly was present at the venue at the time of the press conference.

Demetriou has been subject to speculation this week that Mal Meninga has already been lined up as a potential interim replacement if he is axed as Rabbitohs coach.

Wayne Bennett and assistant Ben Hornby have also been floated as options for next year.

Top of the ladder after 11 rounds last year, the Rabbitohs suffered the biggest capitulation in premiership history when they collapsed to miss the finals altogether.

Their losing run has continued into 2024, with the Rabbitohs last on the ladder with one win and four losses.

Even if Souths do win on Saturday night, they have Melbourne and three-time defending-premiers Penrith after next week’s bye.

Demetriou’s cause has not been helped by a three-match suspension for star fullback Latrell Mitchell, who has had a controversial start to the season.

He has also made the call to drop NSW State of Origin hooker Damien Cook, three weeks after axing halfback Lachlan Ilias.

That in itself has left out-of-form five-eighth Cody Walker as the only member still standing from the club’s round-one bye.

Demetriou has had success everywhere he has coached previously, but last year’s slide coincided with concerns from Sam Burgess of preferential treatment for Mitchell and Walker.

Burgess eventually left the club before season’s end, and would be considered a long-term option to one day return to the Rabbitohs.

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