Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has dispelled concerns about Wade Graham's health after the Test forward was forced out of Friday night’s match with a concussion midway through the first half.
Graham came from the field in the 21st minute after collecting an accidental knee to the head from South Sydney captain Sam Burgess. He was ruled out of the game following a head injury assessment.
The Sharks co-captain has had a number of concussions during his career but Flanagan said after Cronulla's 22-14 loss at ANZ Stadium that he believed there was no cause for concern.
“Any concussion is a bit of a concern but they have been pretty spaced out and he did get a pretty good whack with a knee to the head so there’s not much you can do about it I suppose,” Flanagan said.
“We have just got to monitor him but he is fine in the dressing room now and he only failed one part of his test, the balance part. He was fine with all his questions and so he wasn’t too bad and he feels fine now.”
The loss of Graham compounded the withdrawal of his Australian World Cup winning teammate Josh Dugan before the game after scans detected a stress fracture in his lower leg.
Flanagan said Dugan would be sidelined for three weeks.
“He was complaining, he thought he had a cork in his lower leg so we got a scan on Tuesday,” Flanagan said.
“It is frustrating that we can’t keep the same side on the field for long periods but we just need to roll with it. We won some games when a lot of players were out, we have got a good squad and I am confident in the squad we have got but tonight we were just outplayed.”
Cronulla captain Paul Gallen admitted that the Rabbitohs were better in all facets of the game.
“When we had opportunities I just felt we let them off the hook,” he said. “We went down there three times at 10-2 and made errors. If we complete our sets there and build some pressure it is a different game.
“You make the big blokes tackle a couple of sets in a row and as you saw at the back end of the game we could have scored some points.”
The loss will see the Sharks drop out of the top four as the Warriors, who are level with them on the Telstra Premiership ladder, have a bye this weekend so will receive two competition points.