Toovey fails to win fans with repeat complaints

THE 2013 Sea Eagles reflect the qualities of their coach Geoff Toovey when he played. They are tough, unforgiving, brave and belligerent.

But as much as Toovey and his team are admired, it's a shame he doesn't possess the one personality trait that would help endear him to the many who can't cop his antics, and won't support his team.

Toovey lacks graciousness, in defeat as well as in victory.

On that score, the man who accepted Friday night's loss so cordially beats him hands down.

At the end of one of the worst days of his life Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire was all class while Toovey, a winner and through to his first grand final as an NRL coach, was still a grumpy little man.

The Sea Eagles started poorly, down 14-0 after 15 minutes and were clearly being outplayed by Souths before they bounced back to win.

While Toovey rightly blamed his players for the poor start, not surprisingly he couldn't resist a shot at the referees.

"I thought, again, the 50-50 calls did not go our way," he whined.

Each of us has our different personality traits and that is what makes society so interesting.

While some footy coaches sit calmly in the box others, like Toovey and Melbourne's Craig Bellamy, are demonstrative and edgy throughout.

Toovey however seems to take it just that little bit further.

Many considered his post-match press conference after Manly's loss to the Rabbitohs in Round 23 a passionate display of support for his players but there is little doubt he was putting pressure on officialdom, and referees in particular.

Because he was fined by the NRL for his outburst, Toovey was painted as the victim.

But he was fined for what he said, not what he inferred.

He claimed the officials decided the outcome of that game and said it had not been an even playing field.

In anyone's language that is an accusation of cheating, an irrational claim that smacks of a sore loser.

If anyone at the weekend had a reason to be a sore loser it was Maguire.

Not only had his team - tagged 'the pride of the league' - been beaten in an attempt to make its first grand final since 1971, but his mother had passed away that very day.

Yet rather than reflect on his tribulations, Maguire spoke about the culture of the club and the strength of its people and mentioned team mascot Charlie Rabbit whose wife died during the season.

It was, said the coach, important that people stuck by each other and that was the kind of organisation being built at Redfern.

Hopefully Geoff Toovey watched that press conference and learned a little about graciousness.