South Sydney star Sam Burgess suffered a neck injury in the Rabbitohs’ dramatic 8-6 NRL loss to St George Illawarra at the waterlogged SCG on Sunday.
Burgess went down in the 58th minute following a legal tackle by Mike Cooper and two other Dragons defenders.
The dual international lay prone on the turn at the southern end of the ground for several minutes as he was treated by medical personnel before being driven off in a medicab.
Burgess was rushed to hospital but it was reported he was feeling no ‘pins and needles’ in his legs.
The serious incident overshadowed what was a tough, grinding game of rugby league in atrocious conditions at the iconic venue before 17,824 fans.
Souths winger Alex Johnston opened the scoring out wide in the 13th minute after an early Gareth Widdop penalty goal at a rain-drenched SCG.
In a game for the purists punctuated by bruising forward battles in the middle of the ground, Jason Nightingale then hit back for the Dragons in the 23rd minute after chasing down a Widdop kick.
A Widdop penalty goal in the 30th minute took the Dragons lead back to two points, 8-6, the half-time score.
Despite an exciting second stanza no points were scored as the Dragons held on for their first win of the year with Widdop leading the way.
The defeat was Souths’ first of the season.
Rabbitohs three-quarter Kirisome Auva’a was put on report for a 65th minute ‘crusher’ tackle.
And in a bizarre ending to the match, superstar fullback Greg Inglis – seemingly thinking the scores were all tied up – attempted a field goal on the final play of the game.
Dragons playmaker Benji Marshall was a late withdrawal, but is expected to be fit for round four.