Still hurting ... Greg Inglis. Photo: Anthony Johnson
GREG INGLIS chooses to block out the painful memories of last year's preliminary final heartache but coach Michael Maguire believes it could be the moment that defines this year's campaign.
With a tear of a hamstring, out went South Sydney's grand final dreams as well as their rookie sensation, Adam Reynolds.
Inglis won't allow himself to contemplate what Rabbitohs fans have all summer - what if?
What if Reynolds didn't leave the field in the 27th minute?
What if he finished the match?
For Inglis, what if isn't a question worth answering. ''We look back on it now and it's just one of those shattering memories, so I try to block it out of my memory bank … we've just got to learn to adapt to those situations.''
But Maguire chooses to look at the loss against the Bulldogs in the penultimate weekend of the competition as a positive for their new campaign.
The Rabbitohs coach believes it will provide the motivation to inspire his troops this season.
"We spoke about it and we got a lot out of that game, which will make the team even hungrier," Maguire said. "I think it's made Adam and the rest of the team really hungry. Watching him develop again through this pre-season, you see he's more mature and understands his role even better.
"He's matured a lot and his confidence among the team has been beneficial for us. He's pushing the team around with Johnny Sutton even better now."
While Maguire admits there's been plenty of mental developments in Reynolds's game over the off-season, Inglis has worked overtime on the physical aspect of his game.
The Australian international looks in career-best shape and said he has been doing a lot of work leading into his second season as a No.1 to improve on his stellar performances of last term.