Jason Demetriou storms out of presser as Craig Bellamy responds to South Sydney links

Demetriou's move came after the Storm coach addressed reports linking him to the South Sydney job.

Under-fire Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou has ended his Friday NRL press conference abruptly after walking out on reporters after just 27 seconds. It comes after reports Demetriou will be sacked after Saturday night's game against Cronulla, with coaches such as Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga all linked with the role.

Demetriou tried to put on a brave face after telling reporters on Friday that he was looking forward to seeing his side put on a solid performance against the Sharks at Accor Stadium. But Demetriou was clearly in no mood to address the mounting speculation that he's set to be shown the door at Souths, after answering the bare minimum of questions from reporters.

On the left is Craig Bellamy and the right shows Souths coach Jason Demetriou walking out of his NRL press conference on Friday.
Craig Bellamy has responded to being linked to the Souths coaching job as Jason Demetriou walked out of a Friday NRL press conference. Pic: Getty/Fox League

Demetriou's press conference was shorter than Darius Boyd's infamous 42-second effort in 2009, and Wayne Bennett's 80-second effort after a loss to Penrith in 2020. In total, Demetriou offered 73 words in what could be his last pre-match press conference. Demetriou largely ignored the question about how he was coping in the midst of the external talk about his future at the club.

"We've had a great week at training. The energy through the week has been outstanding," he said. Demetriou turned defiant after being asked how he had blocked out the constant speculation about his job. "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." Demetriou's final response came to a question about whether he was coaching for his job. "I believe I'm coaching for a great performance this week, and that's what we're going to get," he said before walking off.

The Rabbitohs coach has been unable to turn around the Rabbitohs' fortunes, and they've now lost 15 of their last 20 games (including four of five this season). Reports earlier this week suggested Demetriou needed a win against the Sharks to save his job but it's since emerged that maybe even that won't be enough, with Souths powerbrokers understood to have lost faith in the coach.

Craig Bellamy addresses links to Souths job

The development comes after Bellamy responded to reports linking him with the South Sydney job and admitted he would "never say never" when it comes to the role. Bellamy's admission followed comments from Bennett hosing down suggestions he will return to coach Souths in the near future. However, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga declared he would be interested in an interim role at the Rabbitohs for the remainder of this season.

In terms of Bellamy though, the 64-year-old is contracted at the Melbourne Storm until the end of the season but has been considering retirement for some time now. Bellamy's future at the Storm has been a hot topic for numerous seasons now but while the veteran Storm mentor insists he's not considering the coaching role at Souths, he was hesitant to completely rule it out in the future.

Pictured left to right, Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy.
Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy have both been linked with the coaching job at South Sydney. Pic: Getty

“I haven’t heard from anyone at Souths, so I don’t think there’s any decision to make,” Bellamy said ahead of Friday night's game against the Bulldogs. “I’m not looking (at any other head coaching roles) at all, but you never say never. I’m coaching here, that’s my job.

"There’s nothing else on the table. If there was, I probably wouldn’t want to think about it anyway. I expect the players and the staff to be focused on what their job is, so that’s what I’ve got to do as well.”


Wayne Bennett remains coy on coaching future

Bennett is another name being consistently mentioned to make a potential return to the club he took to the 2021 grand final. But the veteran hosed down any such suggestions on Thursday. Bennett is in the final year of his deal with the Dolphins and could be available unless he stays in Redcliffe on a director of football role, but the 74-year-old has remained typically coy.

"Everyone is having an opinion on it. My opinion is the one that matters but I'm not sharing it with anyone, so keep guessing guys," he said. "I am (at the Dolphins) until the end of the season and I have made no decisions about going anywhere or doing anything. So we will wait and see."

Meantime, Kangaroos coach Meninga said while he has not been officially approached by anyone at Souths, he would be open to an interim coaching role in the NRL. “I know there is interest. There has been nothing official," Meninga said on SEN. "I feel sorry for what’s happened at the club. We want to see South Sydney firing. I feel a bit sorry for the coach. I can’t speak factually on it. We all know Jason is under the pump because of the performance of the football team.

“I love the idea of being an interim coach. However I have big commitments in my life. I am very happy in life. It’s only short-term, I know. It is something that interests me. I am flattered that my name has been mentioned. There is no real foundation to it yet.”

with agencies