Former Kiwis coach Graham Lowe's prospects of resurrecting his National Rugby League (NRL) coaching career at South Sydney have evaporated following the Rabbitohs' winless but spirited start to the season.
Caretaker coach Paul Langmack, who replaced dumped club icon Craig Coleman after three pre-season defeats, was given until mid-April to secure the position and appears on track after suffering narrow losses to the highly rated Canterbury Bulldogs and Brisbane Broncos.
Langmack could be fast-tracked to the fulltime position as early as Thursday when the club's board meets, although a decision may not be made until the club's annual meeting next month.
South Sydney lost to the Bulldogs 26-34 in their opening match and were pipped 20-22 by the Broncos yesterday, conceding the decisive try in the final 10 seconds.
South Sydney chief executive David Tapp told League Correspondent about 20 applications had been received when the deadline expired for the coaching position last Friday, although only a few were to be interviewed.
However, Langmack appears to have a firm grip on the job, with Tapp saying the players were "clearly responding".
"We have a commitment with a capital 'C' now."
While Tapp hoped the board would make a swift decision, chairman George Piggins doubted any decision could be made until it was known whether there would be an attempt to depose directors at the club's annual meeting on April 13.
"At this stage Langers has firmed to be the favourite but until such time as we know that we are going to be there next year and there is not going to be someone else in charge of the club, it wouldn't be best business practice to go out and sign him to a three-year contract or something.
"If there is no challenge it's more than likely he'll be there. If they're still playing this good in two weeks' time, you'd have to say he's one of the best things to happen to the place."
Lowe, who has not coached in the NRL since a stint with North Queensland in 1996, threw his name in the ring soon after Coleman was dumped on March 3.