Canterbury's massive assassination of the season this season has put Rabbitoh's top four hopes on the rocks, while a probable season-ending injury to Braidon Burns and another Sam Burgess blow rounded off a horror night for South Sydney.
Burns threw a downed figure in ANZ Stadium sheds as the resurrected Bulldogs moved up to a 14-6 upset, with the lucky young center re-injuring the same hamstring that sidelined him for three months earlier this year.
While Burns will be reviewing the mandatory scans and assessments in the coming days, his reaction to the site and the long initial layoff gives an immense prognosis, coach Wayne Bennett, who admits "it's probably his season [over]. This is his third time doing it ”.
Also the sight of skipper Sam Burgess, who sat out last week with a four-wheel drive, pulled up late in the competition as Canterbury kicked on.
"It doesn't look good," Bennett said of Burgess, who is likely to watch in a six-day turnaround for next week's pit fight with former coach Anthony Seibold and the Broncos.
Kieran Foran, meanwhile, knows all too well what Burns is facing.
But after finally putting his own calf and hamstring issue to bed, the big money tormented southerners for the purpose of his salad days at Manly.
Foran's work on the line proved groundbreaking, putting two attempts on Corey Harawira-Naera as Canterbury made it three straight – the first time they have done so in Dean Pay's term at Belmore.
For the Rabbitohs, however, the loss drops them out of the top four for the first time this season, at the worst possible time.
Manly & # 39; s big win over the West Tigers sees them jump to fourth with only three regular season games remaining, a very important second bite of the semi-final cherry that evaporates if the Souths can't regain the climb.
Through a tense first half, Canterbury held on well and really held it, making most of the race without rewards.
Only penalty goals, which Adam Reynolds and Nick Meaney traded, bothered the scorers before halftime.
It was Meaney who was most likely looking down the Bulldogs' left edge, Dane Gagai once pushing him in touch as the tryline striked and again struck a ball dead with the blue-and-white flyer in hot pursuit.
Another Reynolds penalty goal scored the Rabbitohs ahead after the break, but Foran ensured their advantage lasted for a full 60 seconds.
His feathered pits in goal gave Harawira-Naerea the first tryscorer honors in the 47th minute.
Reynolds equalized the scores again soon after with his third penalty of the night.
But once again it was Foran who put it on a dish in retaliation, piling Harawira-Naerea through from short range to a 12-6 lead.
Canterbury looked increasingly likely as the game wore on, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak found space through the middle as Lachlan Lewis and Foran led them around the paddock.
With the clock settling Souths, the pressure for points is settled through James Roberts and Gagai.
A streak on Gagai as he looked to dig across the line gave Souths a complete set in prime real estate, only for Liam Knight to cough possession of a tackle later.
When Will Hopoate shot down the field shortly after, Sam Burgess was sneaky with a leg injury that causes the Souths to sweat during the week.
So did their worrying form decline, which has now seen them lose three on the trot and fall to fifth on the ladder after Brisbane won six of their last seven in return.
And for Canterbury, the chance to rattle another top-eight team’s cage is, no doubt, sweet yet, if they can upset old foe Parramatta on Thursday.