South Sydney coach bristles at question in post-game press conference

Jason Demetriou, pictured here after South Sydney's loss to Brisbane.
Jason Demetriou was visibly frustrated by questions about Adam Reynolds. Image: Fox Sports

Jason Demetriou was visibly annoyed by questions about Adam Reynolds after South Sydney's opening round loss to the Broncos in his first game as an NRL head coach.

The Broncos won 11-4 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, despite the absence of star recruit and former Rabbitohs captain Adam Reynolds due to Covid-19.

'RULE IS BROKEN': Controversy erupts in first game of NRL season

'IT'S EMBARRASSING': NRL star called out over WAG's angry coach rant

Reynolds' replacement Lachlan Elias struggled to have an impact for Souths, barely running the ball in the first half and watching passes hit the deck or find Brisbane hands in the second.

After enduring a frustrating coaching debut, Demetriou dismissed questions about Reynolds' absence as "irrelevant".

"He's not there so there's no point me worrying about it," the new coach said.

“The decisions have been made, he will be wearing a Broncos jersey this year. My job is to coach them to get the best out of them that we can this year.

"We needed to be a bit more patient, but I thought Broncos' last ditch defence was pretty good as well.

"He's (Elias) learning and will keep learning, but he defended really well.

"It's a work in progress; he's played his third NRL game and we have to hold the ball as well, not give away silly errors."

Demetriou was then left exasperated when a second journalist asked him an almost identical question about Reynolds.

“Again, he is not there, there is no point thinking about what might be or what is, if we miss him or we don’t miss him he’s not there,” Demetriou said.

“It’s Round 1, we are starting again, we have to build our season.”

Adam Reynolds, pictured here after the Broncos' win over South Sydney.
Adam Reynolds looks on after the Broncos' win over South Sydney. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Broncos make bright start after horror 2021 season

Brisbane led 6-4 at the break, before Corey Oates' diving effort in the corner created a buffer and backrower and captain Kurt Capewell slotted a field goal from broken play.

Back from a 2021 ACL tear, Patrick Carrigan (145 run metres) showed extra pace, footwork and an offload to complement his proven workrate, setting the platform alongside Payne Haas (168m).

And 19-year-old winger Selwyn Cobbo was electric down the right flank, while Penrith recruit and captain Capewell steadied the defence of a side which has leaked points when finishing 14th and last in their previous two seasons.

Albert Kelly scored an 80 metre intercept try and was lively in the halves alongside coach Kevin Walters' son Billy, even if they didn't make the most of their platform laid by forward-pack dominance and regular Rabbitohs errors.

Kurt Capewell, pictured here after kicking a field goal in the Broncos' win over South Sydney.
Kurt Capewell celebrates after kicking a field goal in the Broncos' win over South Sydney. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"Tough, gritty and I thought our defence was probably the best it's been since I've been here - that's the stuff you can really build a team around," coach Walters said.

"I'm not sure who was questioning it (Billy's selection) ... I knew that performance was in him, but knowing and doing that is two different things.

"It's nice sitting here after a victory knowing Adam Reynolds is going to drop back into the side next week."

The Rabbitohs, who lost the grand final in their last trip to Brisbane, were poor as they began life without the departed Reynolds, Dane Gagai, coach Wayne Bennett and suspended Latrell Mitchell.

Blake Taaffe was also a late absentee with an ankle injury, which saw Alex Johnson move to fullback and try-scorer Josh Mansour injected on the wing.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.