South Sydney co-captain Michael Crocker has revealed he let the occasion of the Rabbitohs' first NRL finals appearance in five years get to him against Melbourne.
Souths went into the encounter at AAMI Park on Saturday on the back of eight victories in 10 games and confident of ending their winless run in the Victorian capital.
However, the Rabbitohs were struck by stage fright and blown away by a first-half blitzkrieg from the Billy Slater-inspired Storm, who raced into an 18-0 lead at the break before going on to win 24-6.
Before the game doubts had been cast as to whether Souths had enough finals experience to beat Craig Bellamy's side, but Crocker denied it was only the younger players who were affected by nerves.
"I think it was everyone. I know I was probably over-excited and I am one of the oldest and most experienced players in the team," Crocker, a veteran of four grand finals and 13 State of Origins for Queensland, told AAP.
"It was a semi-final and I hadn't played in one for a while. I just wanted to get out there, lift the intensity and help my team.
"My game is to provide that energy and talk around the middle and I was a bit too eager to get our line speed up and I conceded some silly penalties.
"It's something I will look at and make sure I am lot smarter this week against Canberra."
TV cameras showed Maguire demonstrate a new side to the usually methodical personality at halftime as he delivered a huge spray to his players, who produced their worst 40 minutes of the season, conceding five soft penalties.
Winger Nathan Merritt said it was the first time the team had seen Maguire in a state of apoplexy, and conceded it was fully deserved.
"He was pretty angry at halftime and you couldn't blame him," Merritt told AAP.
"Being down 18-0 and playing like we did, I would have done the same if I was coach. It was what we needed.
"He did calm down pretty quickly and told us exactly what we had to address and were a lot better in the second half and can take that into the Canberra game."
David Furner's Raiders are the form team of the finals, reeling off six straight wins including Sunday's 34-16 triumph over Cronulla.
An entertaining encounter saw young back-rower Josh Papalii ruffle the feathers of Sharks skipper Paul Gallen.
Gallen accused the 20-year-old of a "dog act" after he was struck off the ball, but Crocker said that wasn't why the green machine won and isn't expecting a repeat from Papalii at ANZ Stadium.
"I am not sure if it was part of their game plan, but whatever they did worked," Crocker said.
"They won it by running hard and creating opportunities through the middle and that gave their halves and outside backs the chance to build some momentum."
Despite the loss to the Storm, the 32-year-old said it was a huge learning curve for Souths to see how a seasoned finals side perform when the stakes were high.
"That will definitely help us next week. Melbourne played perfect semi-finals football," he said.
"They held the ball, kicked it to the corner and built pressure in defence."