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  1. 673 Posts.
    Bitter Coleman sacked
    March 3, 2003

    A "devastated" Craig Coleman has reacted bitterly after being sacked as South Sydney coach today.

    Coleman was axed just 11 days before the start of the season following a string of dismal results culminating in SatVrday's night's 58-12 final pre-season trial loss to the Wests Tigers.

    Former Souths star Phil Blake was promoted from assistant coach while the hunt for a long-term replacement goes on, with Paul Langmack staying on as his assistant.

    Coleman said club chairman George Piggins had not warned him that trial form could cost him his job and he had been experimenting with a large number of players and combinations in the pre-season.

    "If George (Piggins) would have come and told me we had to win the trials I would fielded our best side," Coleman said.

    "Me and my staff, we've said from day one we will treat them as trials and the board knew that," Coleman said.

    "Never once did they come and say you'd better win them.

    "But that's what you've got to put up with.

    "I"m devastated. Football is my life. This club was my life.

    "When you are a coach you are just waiting to be sacked anyway. The great Jack Gibson got sacked.

    "But the way it happened was very, very disappointing."

    Coleman had been under extreme pressure following a string of dismal results.

    The club conceded 130 points in losing all three of their trial games following some expensive off-season recruiting.

    The Rabbitohs have now gone 10 matches without victory, stretching back to round 18 last year.

    In that time they have conceded 426 points at an average of 42.6 per game, while scoring only 128 at 12.8 per game.

    Fans flooded South Sydney's website yesterday calling for the coach's sacking but chairman George Piggins initially said Coleman would be given the first three rounds of the NRL competition to turn his team's form around or face the axe.

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