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Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett says the reason for his side's fluctuating form week to week – and even minute to minute – is a result of some players taking their football too casually.

Speaking after his side's shock upset 26-16 loss to Canterbury on Thursday night, Bennett said the performance was a mix "between the good, the bad and the ugly".

"I didn't see it coming but again if you underestimate your opponent and don't have enough respect for them you find yourself in that situation, that's what we did," Bennett said.

"The indications would be that they thought it was going to be a bit easier than what it was.

"I think it's more of an attitude problem. We gave them a 20-point start then decided we'd get ourselves back in the contest and the scoreboard ended up being 16-6 for the next 60 minutes.

"They took their chances, we got over the line three times and lost the ball. We didn't take ours.

Dogged defence in second half helps Bulldogs secure upset win

"Guys have a pretty casual outlook sometimes on how they're playing their football."

Bennett did not want to comment on the sin-bin on Jaydn Su'A for the knock that caught Lachlan Lewis high, ruling him out of the game.

"We're not really allowed to comment on that, it's in the judiciary's hands," he said.

Su'A sent to sin bin for tackle on Lewis

The loss means Souths will drop to seventh if Newcastle beat the Dragons on Sunday, putting their hopes of a home final at serious risk heading into the final round. Bennett said while a home final "would be nice" the main thing was to get there.

"The first thing is to be in the finals and then after that where you play is where you play," he said.

"We've still got a game to go, we've got the Roosters, we're not going to be able to match it with them if we played like we did tonight.

"That's our challenge to get ourselves back somewhere we know we can play at and not dish up what we dished up here tonight."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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