South Sydney winger Bryson Goodwin is confident the side can perform without star fullback Greg Inglis after scans revealed the Australian international will miss the remainder of the season with an ACL injury.
The incident created wide debate over the weekend about the Rabbitohs' handling of the situation, after Inglis damaged his knee just seven minutes into the game before playing on in visible distress.
Veteran teammate Goodwin, who scored the first hat-trick of his career against the Wests Tigers, said the loss of Inglis was tough to take but was not ready to give up on the season after only the first round.
"I'm devastated for him," Goodwin said.
"It was tough to watch, just because he's had a great off-season and has been training really well.
"It's always devastating to do a knee injury but especially for him having problems with the other one, to now do his good knee.
"It's Round 1. There have been plenty of teams that have lost big players and have gone on to bigger and better things.
"We'll just move on and look forward to this week against Manly."
The 31-year-old admitted it was tough to watch Inglis hobble around on the field for 50 minutes of the game after shifting to the wing, but said both he and the medical staff felt it was not as bad as scans have now revealed.
"It didn't look great but he obviously thought he could play on and the medical staff thought he could," Goodwin said.
"We trust in them so they made the call.
"If he (Inglis) didn't really want to stay on he would have gone off.
"He'll get over it, move on and come back even better.
"I was surprised [he came back for the second half] but that's just Greg… that's what he does for the club.
"He's a massive part of this team but he will still be around the boys.
"It will be a different role for him (off the field) and we will definitely miss him out on the field."
Wests Tigers players admitted on Monday they felt sorry for Inglis and "went easy" on the star.
"To see him on the wing, we knew something was wrong but they left him out there and we had a job to do on our side as well," Tigers skipper Aaron Woods said.
"You could tell the knee wasn't right and he was pulling away so we didn't go near his knee so we sort of just held him up.
"He's one of the greats of the game and at times you want to target it (the knee) but we knew he wasn't right and just let him go.
"If we did attack it, it might have blew out the whole knee.
"He's a future Immortal, Greggie, and even if it wasn't you still want to show a bit of sportsmanship and look after them a bit."
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has come under fire for not bringing the 30-year-old from the field, but sat alongside Inglis in the press conference post-game where both agreed everyone was confident it wasn't a long-term injury.
"I've got some very good staff and they were obviously in conversation with Greg right throughout the game and Greg felt it was actually getting better and he thought he could stay out there," Maguire said post-game.
"Once there was a point in the second half that I could see it was no longer worth pursuing with Greg being out there, we took him off."
Meanwhile, Maguire was less than impressed with the performance against the Tigers, and now with the loss of Inglis, will need to regroup for their Round 2 clash with Manly at Lottoland on Saturday.
"There are plenty of lessons and we will have a look at ourselves in the next few days and a real good honest session about where we need to improve," Maguire said.
"There's a lot of things we've been doing well at training and we weren't able to get those out there at times.
"I thought defensively we weren't where we needed to be and they capitalised on that.
"We had quite a number of missed tackles and give opportunity to them and they took it.
"They played really well tonight and managed to get some offloads so capitalised on that."
Goodwin was confident in the depth stocks at Redfern to replace Inglis, with Alex Johnston and Cody Walker spending time in the custodian role in previous years.
"We've got Alex, then we've also got Cody Walker who played a fair bit there last year," Goodwin said.
"It's just up to the coach now who he wants to put there."