Thirty-four-year-old winger Lote Tuqiri has dismissed suggestions Souths threw him a lifeline and insists he has plenty to offer the red and green in 2014.
Canterbury-Bankstown's number one jumper remains up for grabs after the Bulldogs were defeated 28-20 by South Sydney in their first hitout of the year.
In front of a Back to Belmore crowd of 5,913, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler experimented with three different fullbacks - Sam Perrett, Drury Low and Tyrone Phillips - but will be none the wiser after watching his side fail to make the most of dominating possession.
"It's hard to get a gauge when you're only playing a quarter, and then all the other boys who've been training there all off-season, they played as well," said Perrett, who started at fullback but came off after the first quarter.
"It's still nothing definite and it's all up in the air. Everyone's just working hard for it... I'd love to play there absolutely, but at the end of the day just as long as I'm out there with a jersey on, I'll be happy."
The score was close throughout the match, but a stronger Rabbitohs lineup slowly wore the Bulldogs out as Hasler emptied his long bench.
Dominant early, the home side drew first blood after first quarter fullback Sam Perrett set up winger Drury Low in a perfectly worked right-side shift after just six minutes.
But the Rabbitohs matched the effort with a sublime movement of their own in the 18th minute, with Beau Champion the beneficiary of a well-timed Adam Reynolds pass.
The second quarter produced much of the same. A Nathan Merritt short ball handed Dylan Walker a passage to the line in the 25th minute, but that too was equalled by a similar ball from Michael Ennis onto the chest of Sam Kasiano.
After 40 minutes, the game was locked at 10-all.
The short ball proved to be the theme of an afternoon full of unforced errors, a lesson young Bulldogs prop Lloyd Perrett showed when he took a direct route to the try-line in the 44th minute.
Walker heeded the message, using his own strength to carry a number of defenders over three minutes later to tie the game at 16-all.
But the Rabbitohs took the lead for good in the 55th minute through Cameron McInness' drive from dummy half.
The Bulldogs replied early in the final quarter when Corey Thompson finished off a Pat Templeman line break, but the result was put beyond doubt in the 72nd minute, when South Sydney's Chris Centrone dived in the corner.
While it was the first trial of the year for both teams, Perrett said there was a lot of improvement to be made.
"As expected it was a little bit rusty. I guess a lot of the young boys getting an opportunity, getting a taste of playing against some first grade players, [but] there's some really good stuff out there," he said.
"Obviously [the fact] a lot of tries leaked in all different grades points out some work to do defensively. But look, the boys had fun and everyone looks healthy which is great. We've got lots to learn from it."
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire was particularly pleased with the performance of Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary, and confirmed they would begin the year as his halves pairing.
"I suppose young Luke Keary and Adam did well together," he said. "Obviously we had a lot of changes going on throughout the trial as well, but I thought the combination between both of them, which we've been working really hard on in the pre-season, showed in the game. I was really pleased with how they went."
For South Sydney, Greg Inglis, Bryson Goodwin, John Sutton, Issac Luke, and all four Burgess brothers took no part in the match, while the Bulldogs' Josh Reynolds and Reni Maitua were also sidelined.
Rabbitohs signing Lote Tuqiri played about 50 minutes off the bench, but saw little action.
South Sydney 28 (Walker 2, Champion, McInnes, Centrone tries; Reynolds, Walker 3 goals) defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 20 (Low, Kasiano, L. Perrett, Thompson tries; Hodkinson, Templeman goals) at Belmore Sports Ground.