South Sydney’s premiership defence is on the verge of collapse with John Sutton and Issac Luke set to join Greg Inglis on the sidelines for the Rabbitohs’ must-win final round clash against arch-rivals Sydney Roosters.
Stand-in skipper Sutton suffered a suspected broken leg in Thursday night’s 47-12 thrashing at the hands of Brisbane and is unlikely to play against this year. Warriors-bound Luke could have played his last game for the club after being placed on report for a shoulder charge on Corey Oates.
Inglis is unlikely to be fit to face the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday week after undergoing knee surgery earlier this week.
Depending on other results of the penultimate round the Rabbitohs could drop to as low as seventh on the premiership ladder by the end of the weekend.
They will need to beat the Roosters to have any chance of a top-four finish.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire was hopeful rugby league’s greatest rivalry would bring out the best in his team.
“Yes I am, we are playing against another one of the best teams in the competition and we got kicked (by the Broncos) and we are hurting, next week we play against a team that has been playing well for some time,” he said.
“We spoke about that in the changeroom and I will keep that to us and how we go about it. All that matters is what happens in that 80 minutes so I guess we get to tell that story then.
“I know the capabilities of our team but we have to play to that and we have a longer turnaround and focus on our preparation moving into next week.
On the Luke tackle Maguire said.”Obviously the rule is there and we will have to have a look at it and see how it goes.
“It might be a broken leg for (Sutton) so we have wait and see what the outcome of that is.”