Bad news keeps coming for South Sydney’s shaky NRL title defence with X-rays showing John Sutton has a broken leg and hooker Issac Luke facing a two-match ban.
Still reeling from Thursday night’s 47-12 mauling by Brisbane, Souths are set to lose stand-in skipper Sutton for the rest of the season after x-rays showed a fracture in his fibula suffered during the match.
“He’ll go in and see a surgeon today just to get an opinion on that, and they’ll make a decision there whether or not they’ll have to go in there and plate that,” said Rabbitohs high performance manager Troy Thomson.
“Hopefully we’ll get some good news but at this stage we think that’ll be 2015 done for John Sutton.”
Star hooker Luke is facing suspension until the second week of the NRL finals after being charged by the match review committee with a shoulder charge on Brisbane’s Corey Oates.
Luke can cop a two-week ban for an early guilty plea but it would be three weeks if he unsuccessfully contests the charge before the judiciary.
South Sydney’s title defence is unravelling fast.
The heavy loss to Brisbane followed a 32-18 drubbing by Canterbury.
And inspirational skipper Greg Inglis is unlikely to be fit to face the Sydney Roosters in the last round of the regular season 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.