Nervous Souths wait on injured Burgess
An ordinary Friday night for South Sydney finished with their season effectively over and skipper Sam Burgess awaiting scans on a possible fractured rib following a 26-12 loss to the Sharks.
Burgess was taken from the field seven minutes from time clutching his ribs after being crunched awkwardly in a tackle.
"We're not really sure but it could be a bit of a cracked rib so we'll have to get the scans and go through the process around that," his coach Michael Maguire said after the game.
It's another headache for the Rabbitohs who now, even if they managed an unlikely six wins from as many games to finish the year, would be unlikely to feature in the finals.
Maguire lamented an inability to hold onto any momentum against Cronulla despite being the stronger side for much of a second half in which they trailed by just two points heading into the final 10 minutes.
"I think we gave the game away in many ways," Maguire said.
"You've got to make sure you complete sets after you score tries. You've got to do all the little things right and there were times throughout the game where we just didn't and we've got to get that right if we want to get into the winners' circle.
"You've got to make sure when you get momentum you hang onto it for as long as you can and we didn't do that for long enough periods. When we did we were very strong in a lot of areas of the game."
Maguire felt the team should have been given a penalty for a high shot on half Adam Reynolds or after an altercation when 300-gamer Luke Lewis's elbow appeared to clip tackler Bryson Goodwin as the veteran stood to play the ball.
"Whether that's through momentum or not those are the big calls throughout the game and if you get those you can put more pressure on the opposition," Maguire added.
"There was a time in the game where we showed that we could have put ourselves out in front but they're the moments you've got to nail and that's what this level demands."
It was unfortunate the score-line blew out with two late tries given how stoutly the team had defended its try-line through most of the game, he added.
"I know they had many opportunities down there. The fight and the effort is there within the team but [it was a] tough one," he said.