Reynolds, Inglis expected to play next week
Two of South Sydney's key players in halfback Adam Reynolds (shoulder) and skipper Greg Inglis (ribs) say they will be able to repair themselves enough over the next eight days to face either the Broncos or Dragons in week two of the NRL semi-finals.
Rabbitohs fans took collective deep breaths when they saw Inglis receive on the field treatment on his right shoulder and then his right rib cage, both in the first half in the dramatic 29-28 loss to Melbourne at AAMI Park.
"Eight days and I'll be fine. That's why I play this sport – walk off after 80 minutes bruised, battered, wounded," Inglis said.
"The beauty of it is we've put ourselves in a good position to have another shot at it.
"We'll get back, I'll obviously look after my ribs, and the boys will look after themselves, recover well, and turn our attention to whoever we play next week.
"We'll invest all our time and effort into that because it comes down to 80 minutes next time –it's do or die for us."
Souths next weekend face the winner of Sunday's Broncos-Dragons elimination final.
Inglis looked in a world of pain as he lay on the ground in the 22nd minute after Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu crunched the 30-year-old in the midriff with his shoulder.
His right shoulder was extended outwards as Storm defenders piled on top of him in the fifth minute.
"That's for them [NRL match review committee] to look at," Inglis said, when asked if he thought the tackle constituted a chicken wing.
Then just 40 seconds before halftime, Reynolds signalled to the bench that his right shoulder was not fully functional after three successive big hits from Josh Addo-Carr, Felise Kaufusi and Christian Welch.
"He copped a bump on his AC joint," coach Anthony Seibold said. "Obviously it hurt to start with but once his adrenalin [kicked in] he stayed in the game. He's a tough guy Renno."
Reynolds may need scans when he gets back into Sydney.
They are not the only injury concerns after a highly-physical encounter.
Angus Crichton burrowed into three Storm defenders and came out of it holding his neck.
"I didn't see the specific tackle…he just copped one on the neck," Seibold said. "I actually took him off because he's been crook all week, so I just wanted to give him a spell.
"We'd planned to give him a spell in the second half. But he was fine, he went back on and finished the game."
The disappointment – and exhaustion – on the faces of the Souths players at fulltime was for all to see.
"We don't need to turn it around, we know what we need to do. We build pressure with effort, that's our game model that's served us well all year," Seibold said.
"We defended for 10 minutes there with 12 men, when George [Burgess] got sent to the sin-bin, and that really solidified our effort.
"We came through the other side so that's another good take-away for us. But normally when you score 28 points you expect to win a game of footy and we didn't.
"We were really good in patches but the Storm showed - they completed at 93 per cent or something like that in the second half – in the key moments how to play finals footy.
"They punished us for every error and every penalty that we gave.
"So that's why we're disappointed. We know we need to be better."