South Sydney say Issac Luke's decision to sign with New Zealand had nothing to do with the decision to bench the star No.9.
The Rabbitohs have ended a three-game losing streak as well as the Dragons' six-game undefeated run with a 16-10 win on Monday night.
Adam Reynolds returns from injury for the Rabbitohs, while a host of other players are back for Round 9 of the NRL.
In a remarkable turn of events, four of the men in contention for the NSW halves spots will face off on Friday night as the Bulldogs and Roosters meet.
Darius Boyd believes he is ready for State of Origin football after a successful NRL return with the Brisbane Broncos on Friday.
In his first game since round five, Melbourne fullback Billy Slater scored two tries and set up another in a comfortable win against the Eels.
Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall has extended his contract at the club for a further two seasons, keeping him at Bondi until the end of 2017.
The NRL has extended the 'two for $100' ticket offer to give even more fans the chance to attend Holden State of Origin I in Sydney at ANZ Stadium on 27 May.
Telstra is making it easy to connect the whole family to Australia's best mobile network and share mobile data between devices with its new Go Mobile plans.
The tries flowed in Round 9 of the Intrust Super Cup with only one match failing to produce 50 or more points over the course of an action-packed weekend.