Jason Demetriou circus blasted as NRL 'laughing stock' after savage Rabbitohs detail comes to light

The new Rabbitohs coach will face a tough task preparing the team for the Panthers.

NRL world has rounded on the Rabbitohs and its handling of Jason Demetriou's sacking only 48 hours from their clash with the Panthers as the club's schedule has come to light. On Tuesday at around 7pm, Demetriou's contract was terminated after a day where the Rabbitohs board met twice to figure out the future of the coach.

Demetriou trained with the team, but was forced to go home as reporters questioned him over his job security. Many Rabbitohs fans found out through reporter Buzz Rothfield, before the club put out a statement, that the coach's contract had been terminated.

NRL fans have blasted the Rabbitohs for the handling of Jason Demetriou's sacking only 48 hours from their clash with the Panthers. (Getty Images)
NRL fans have blasted the Rabbitohs for the handling of Jason Demetriou's sacking only 48 hours from their clash with the Panthers. (Getty Images)

And fans have been left fuming at the extended process. There was speculation Demetriou would lose his job after the Rabbitohs' loss to the Sharks in round six. However, Demetriou was given the bye round to work with his team in an effort to turn around the performances.

The Rabbitohs returned last Thursday, but a Cameron Munster masterclass sealed Demetriou's fate last Thursday. While many expected Demetriou to be gone right after the drubbing, the Rabbitohs coach was still around on Tuesday as he prepared his team for the match against the reigning premiers.

The team was then left in limbo and no coach only 48 hours before the Thursday night match after Demetriou was sacked on Tuesday night. Ben Hornby will now take charge for Thursday's clash, but will likely be left not time to implement any changes to the team. This wouldn't have been the case if the Rabbitohs made their decision ahead of the last weekend.

There is no doubt Demetriou was under serious pressure to retain his position as head coach after the Rabbitohs sit last on the table with one win and six losses. Regardless, fans have blasted the process from the top of the organisation with the players now facing uncertainty heading into the clash against Nathan Cleary's Penrith side.

While the Rabbitohs have been thoroughly underwhelming this year in the NRL, fans have also pointed out they have endured one of the hardest runs to start 2024. The Rabbitohs lost their opening game to Manly, before losing to last year's finalists the Broncos.

A loss to the Roosters followed, before they got their first win against the Bulldogs in round four. They then went on another three-game losing streak having been trounced by the Warriors, a tough-fought loss to the Sharks and then finally a humiliating loss to the Storm.

While the results are unacceptable for the Rabbitohs, six of the seven teams they have played in 2024 are currently in the top eight. They have also lost to four of the top five teams so far this year. While mediocre results will never be accepted at a club the size of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Demetriou was fighting a tough battle to start the year.

Latrell Mitchell embraces Jason Demetriou.
Latrell Mitchell (pictured right) will return under a new coach after head coach Jason Demetriou was sacked.

And Hornby will now take charge against the Panthers with Nathan Cleary recently returning for the reigning champions. The Rabbitohs will still be without Mitchell who faces one more game out having been handed a three-game suspension.

Jye Gray remains the fullback and many fans are calling for the club to build their seasons around the dynamic 20-year-old who has been a shining light in recent weeks, despite the defeats. This could see Mitchell return to the centres after his suspension to help the battling Rabbitohs.