A return to the cardinal and myrtle No.1 jumper he wanted to make his own looms for Alex Johnston as Latrell Mitchell faces a nervous wait and the Rabbitohs count the cost of their hard-fought 18-10 win over Wests Tigers.
Mitchell was placed on report for a high shot on Luke Garner as the Tigers mounted a late fightback and may also have to answer over a swinging arm on Josh Reynolds off-the-ball in the opening minutes.
The South Sydney star took issue with Reynolds kicking wildly at a ball and collecting teammate Campbell Graham in the head, with Mitchell then running in and hitting the Tigers five-eighth on the chin.
Souths play Newcastle next Saturday night and are already expected to be without prop Liam Knight after he suffered a sprained ankle during the warm-up.
Match Highlights: Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
Johnston has been told there will be no room for him at his junior club in 2021 after being touted for the fullback role often throughout his career, but he shapes as the obvious replacement should Mitchell be rubbed out.
Coach Wayne Bennett said he did not notice Mitchell's first incident involving Reynolds as he was concerned for Graham's welfare, and is hopeful Mitchell could escape suspension for his tackle on Garner.
Bennett: Diagnosis not as bad as first thought on Knight
"I didn't take a lot of notice of what happened after [Reynolds kicked at Graham] because I thought he was knocked out and I thought 'this is the first 10 minutes of the game and we're probably going to lose a player to the head bin'," Bennett said.
"I thought [Reynolds' kick] didn’t look great anyway. I don't know how bad it is but it didn't look great.
"The second [Mitchell tackle] was certainly a head high, but it wasn't a grade 3 or a grade 4 or a high grading. I don't think that will happen if he gets charged."
Tigers counterpart Michael Maguire was diplomatic on the Mitchell-Reynolds drama afterwards, hoping both avoid sanction from the match review committee.
"I think [Mitchell] got him, I don't want to make any comment," Maguire said.
"At the end of the day, people wear that and they do through that, I hope nothing happens and away we go and play footy again.
"In both instances it's very quick and I don't think there's too much in either of them."
Bennett said Knight will be out for "between one and four weeks" after he stood on someone's foot less than 10 minutes before kick-off.
The win elevates the Rabbitohs into seventh spot for the moment, though results could see them slide back out of the top eight by the end of the weekend.