The Bulldogs' capitulation to Wests Tigers was compounded by an ankle injury to fullback Will Hopoate which will see him sidelined for at least six weeks.
Dean Pay's men have been commended for having a dig in 2020 and making opponents earn their points but the manner in which they were blown off the park by the Tigers will have coaching staff scratching their heads.
Unless Josh Jackson, Dylan Napa and Adam Elliott can put some starch back in the defence and plug the middle of the ruck, Damien Cook will have a field day and the points will flow for the Rabbitohs.
It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the Rabbitohs either with Latrell Mitchell out of sorts against the Panthers and Cook forced to come up with a whopping 60 tackles in a bid to plug the holes in a shaky defensive line.
Match: Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Round 8 -
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
Bulldogs: Coach Dean Pay has confirmed that English import Luke Thompson won't make his NRL debut on Sunday. The prop only began training with his new club this week after being quarantined for a fortnight.
"No, he won't play," Pay said on Saturday. "He hasn't trained for a number of months so I think it's a big ask for him to play tomorrow. Hopefully we've got a little bit of run in him, got into a little bit of contact work with him, just getting back into the groove of things so we could get him on the park next week."
Will Hopoate (ankle), Jake Averillo (head knock) and Kerrod Holland (bench) are out of the backline. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak moves to fullback, Reimis Smith and Marcelo Montoya are the centres and Nick Meaney and Christian Crichton come in on the wings.
Thompson and Sione Katoa dropped off the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off. Ofahiki Ogden and Jack Cogger were cut on Sunday. The Bulldogs have lost four from five at Bankwest Stadium in 2020.
Rabbitohs: James Roberts starts with Braidon Burns back to the bench in the only change. Winger Alex Johnston has scored five tries in his past four games.
Mark Nicholls and Troy Dargan dropped off the reserves list on Saturday night. Corey Allan and Patrick Mago were omitted an hour from kick-off.
Match: Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Round 8 -
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakFullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick MeaneyWinger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Dane Gagai
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Reimis SmithCentre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Campbell Graham
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Marcelo MontoyaCentre for Rabbitohs is number 4 James Roberts
Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Christian CrichtonWinger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Alex Johnston
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Brandon WakehamHalfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden TolmanProp for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-KingHooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan NapaProp for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Jaydn Su'A
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Ethan Lowe
Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Adam ElliottLock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Kerrod HollandInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Liam Knight
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Dean BrittInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Hame Sele
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Renouf AtoniInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Braidon Burns
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Sauaso SueInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 19 Patrick Mago
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
Adam Elliott v Cameron Murray. Elliott has been solid for the Bulldogs, running for more than 100 metres in his past two matches as well as offering some ball-playing ability. His lock counterpart Murray has acted like an extra playmaker at times since moving back to the middle, passing well while getting through plenty of work.
Latrell Mitchell’s passing game has been impressive for much of the season – so much so that he leads in the NRL in linebreak assists with eight. Cameron Smith, James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic each have seven.