South Sydney forward Ben Te'o says players at the club may have been guilty of believing the hype about their premiership prospects.
The Rabbitohs bounced back from three straight defeats - and a dreadful last-start loss to Canberra- to beat the Dragons 26-6 at the SCG on Saturday night.
A second win of the season was just what they needed to arrest a worrying slump and while they were far from fully convincing Te'o said the run of losses had served as a wake-up call. Souths fell one step short of a grand final last year and their tyres were pumped up further when they beat premiers Sydney Roosters comfortably in the first round. Things did not go to plan from there - until getting back on course on Saturday night.
"We went away from what was working for us. Maybe we read our own press, got a bit too confident in ourselves," Te'o said. "The NRL is hard man, every team is good and you've got to turn up and perform to your best or you're going to get beaten. We know that now. We just had to look at ourselves.
"We got ourselves in a bit of a rut there and we're just trying to work our way out. I don't think we're fully out of it, we've still got to work hard and we've got a hard game next week (at Penrith)."
Te'o said Souths wanted to win for captain John Sutton, who broke Bob McCarthy's club record by making his 212th appearance but running out in 14th place on the ladder was enough motivation.
"It's a special occasion so we wanted to make it a special day for him and his family," Te'o said. "But it's a special day for me and everyone because we really want to turn our season around. There was a lot of motivation with or without that."
Sutton, restored to five-eighth in his milestone match: "It's a big achievement for myself. But it's early on in the season and we've got to build on this win."
The story South Sydney forward Ben Te'o admits: We read our own press first appeared on Brisbane Times.