Origin hopefuls Adam Reynolds and John Sutton failed to impress in their final hit-out before the NSW side is named. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.
They're the halves pairing that Laurie Daley is thinking of throwing at Queensland on Wednesday week, but against Cooper Cronk and the Melbourne Storm on Friday night, Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said John Sutton and Adam Reynolds came up well short.
"Just the precision of our play was probably the biggest thing," Maguire pointed out after his side's 27-14 loss at home
"[When] you're comparing the Cronk kicking game - talking to Sutto there, we spoke about the precision of certain areas of our game - they were better than us."
The Storm forced six line drop outs in total, forcing the Rabbitohs into making over 50 more tackles. South Sydney failed to force any repeat sets for the entire game.
"When you're in a battle like that, when you know it's going to be a tough game, it's all about pressure," Maguire said.
"They were able to get back to back sets. And obviously those cross bombs, they land on the spot whereas ours didn't at times. We didn't give ourselves the chance to do what they were doing to us but when we did, and we hung onto the ball, we obviously made some metres down through the park and come up with a couple of tries there."
Captain John Sutton, who was 18th man for NSW last year but is in the frame for selection on Tuesday night, agreed.
"We just didn't build any pressure, like Madge said. And Melbourne Storm did that. Cooper Cronk's kicks were on the money, and my kicks and Adam's tonight were way off and didn't build any pressure and made it hard on ourselves."
With Greg Inglis, Ben Te'o and Chris McQueen also in line to be named by Queensland on Tuesday, the Rabbitohs could have up to five players away on Origin duty during next week's clash in Cronulla.
But Maguire was confident in the club's depth, and even hinted that hooker Issac Luke would be a chance to return.
"He might be a chance this week, I'm not sure. We've got to go through the tests, which we have been, and he's been ticking off on all those. But it's an injury that we're not going to rush if the doctors and performance team don't think it's right to go. But he's ticking all the right boxes at the moment," he said.
On the heavy toll of Origin, he said: "Every team's in the same predicament. We've got some pretty good players that are itching to have a game. Ben Lowe, Joel Reddy, Lote Tuqiri... so I've got a lot of players in the background who are working hard to get their opportunity. I'll make some decisions this week depending on who's in or out. But I'll make sure they're ready to go."