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South Sydney winger Dane Gagai.

Dane Gagai maintains the Rabbitohs aren't panicking about slipping from the top four with Manly and Parramatta looming large.

South Sydney sit a precarious fourth after a valiant 26-16 defeat to Melbourne on Sunday – their second straight loss.

While the Rabbitohs trail the second-placed Roosters by two points, the Sea Eagles and Eels are both only one win behind the Wayne Bennett-coached team.

But the battle for an invaluable finals double shot doesn't concern Queensland Origin winger Gagai, who is confident everything will work out if South Sydney keep an insular view.

"Obviously a top-four finish is what we want and that's what we’re going to be focused on," Gagai said.

"We're not going to be looking at any other teams and what they're doing because then that's deterring away from what we've got to be doing.

"That's turning up to training, making sure we're doing everything right in preparation and controlling the things we can control.

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"We don't know what's going on with what they're doing so we've just got to focus on ourselves and do everything we can to make sure we finish in the top four."

Prop Junior Tatola echoed Gagai, saying the Rabbitohs don't have to worry just yet.

"I guess there is a little bit of pressure [for the top four] but we're not really thinking too much about it," Tatola told

"We're just trying to take it week by week at the moment. We're obviously trying to get a few wins together. We'll fix a few things up."

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Melbourne lead the competition by eight points after downing Souths, another minor premiership almost certain for the Victorian club.

But Gagai saw enough on the weekend to believe the gulf between the Rabbitohs and Storm is not nearly as big as the ladder suggests.

"Last night we showed that [we can compete with Melbourne]. There's definitely a lot of areas we can improve on but we proved that," Gagai said, adding he was impressed with how Souths responded to being 12-0 down.

"We ground them back to 12-all, they got away again and we brought them back again. I think we're not far off it and it's just a matter of doing it for 80 minutes."

Gagai senses the Rabbitohs approaching their best after a mid-year lull but he wasn't pleased with his individual performance against the Storm.

The 28-year-old considered his return of eight runs for 55 metres below par.

"That's what I'm going to be focused on this week, just getting in there and going looking for the ball if it's not coming my way," he said.

Rabbitohs winger Dane Gagai.
Rabbitohs winger Dane Gagai. ©Paul Barkley/NRL Photos

With the NRL preparing to celebrate Women In League Round, Gagai paid tribute to his mother, Tania, and partner, Kelly.

"The amount of sacrifice my mum made for me to be in the position I'm in [is amazing]. The amount of running around for me, driving around for rep sides, the amount of Ks she would have racked up in the car to get me to places," he reflected.

"It's an unbelievable thing to celebrate, women in league. Especially my partner now, looking after my two boys and making sure that I get to be in the best position to prepare for a game. She gets up for them every morning and looks after them.

"There's plenty of women in my life that have helped me get to where I am. I know that's the same for a lot of players."

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Gagai said halfback Adam Reynolds (back spasms) "cruised around" a recovery session on Monday, while he rated Sam Burgess (quad strain) a chance to face Canterbury-Bankstown at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

He also weighed in on the topical stripping rule - where multiple players can drop off a tackle before a legal one-on-one steal - saying it "doesn't really bother me".

"It's a part of the game and I'm just going to play in the rules. It's just one of those things you've got to be aware of," Gagai said.

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