Dan Walsh, Staff Writer, NRL.com
South Sydney will wait with bated breath on the health of halfback Adam Reynolds, who was forced from the field with a hamstring injury in the Rabbitohs 22-10 loss to North Queensland on Saturday night.
Reynolds pulled up as though he had been shot after claiming a Johnathan Thurston kick and streaking upfield late in the match. The Bunnies no.7, who has been in stellar form over the past month, left the field shortly after clutching at his left hamstring.
It was on the same ANZ Stadium turf two years ago that Reynolds tore the same muscle in the grand final qualifier loss to the Bulldogs, a result that continued South Sydney's then-41 years of premiership torment.
Coach Michael Maguire was hopeful after the match that Reynolds' injury was not as serious this time round.
"He should be ok," Maguire said.
"It was more of a spasm from what I've been told, but we'll have to have the scans and check tomorrow."
Given the Rabbitohs short turnaround of just five days until their blockbuster clash with the Bulldogs next Thursday, Reynolds looks to be in doubt for the Round 25 fixture.
Fortuitously, injured skipper John Sutton is a strong chance of returning from a month-long layoff from a knee injury for that same clash.
The Cowboys barely gave Souths a look-in during a near faultless first half where they completed 19 sets from 19 and enjoyed 63 per cent of possession.
Maguire was left lamenting the fact the Rabbitohs were essentially beaten at their own game. North Queensland's forward pack gained plenty of metres up the middle as the Cowboys jumped to a 16-0 lead at the break, while Johnathan Thurston built considerable pressure with four forced line drop-outs and had a hand in all four of the visitors tries.
"You talk about JT and the way he builds pressure, that's off a forward pack rolling forward," Maguire said.
"They probably did march us down the park at times and we didn't match that defensively the way we can.
"When you've got someone who can kick like Johnathan Thurston can, he put a lot of pressure on. I think they got four back-to-back sets, whereas we didn't get those. That's where pressure was applied against us."
Skipper Greg Inglis was similarly effusive of his Origin team-mate's masterful performance.
"When you've got a player like JT in the side it's hard to control when they've got the roll on. They just performed really well and we didn't match it," he said.
"We spoke about him but also the players around him. When he plays like that his team lifts. At the end of the day we didn't perform."