It is win or else in the NRL, as former South Sydney Rabbitohs Coach Michael Maguire can attest.
Two years remaining on the contract? Just a minor detail. Long-term contracts are for winning coaches in the NRL. The Rabbitohs, at least, had the good decorum to wait until the season was over, although some might say that as far as the Rabbitohs are concerned, the season was over not long after it had begun, as they managed to win only nine times and the view down from their 12th rung provided views of the dregs of the league in 2017.
Oddly enough, Maguire can walk away with head held high, since he oversaw the most successful results by the Rabbitohs since the club’s halcyon days in the late 60s and early 70s. Maguire did take South Sydney to the NRL title in 2014, but three years is an unacceptable long interval in the NRL.
Maguire signed a three-year extension just last year, but South Sydney has been on the slide and has not made it to the semifinals in 2015 or 2016. He was under pressure for the bulk of the 2017 campaign and to say the season was disappointing would be an understatement in the suburb of Redfern, where 21 Bunnies flags outnumber the spoons.
Maguire is considered a candidate for the vacant Gold Coast Titans job, but he would be well advised to steer clear of that trap, unless he has a solid relationship with the player or players who call the shots for the team that barely edged the Newcastle Knights for this year’s spoon.
Maguire joined the Red n Green after his apprenticeship under the MelbourneStorm’s Craig Bellamy and he also served as a coach in the English Super League. He led Souths for 153 games, which made him the fourth longest-tenured coach in the team’s 109-year history.