After a hat-trick of wins, South Sydney five-eighth Cody Walker said the loss to the Sea Eagles in extra time was a wake-up call his side needed.
The Bunnies came close to being upset last week after they let the Titans sneak back into the game in the second half by scoring two late tries before succumbing 28-20.
But from the get-go on Saturday afternoon Manly looked determined to claim their second victory of the season in front of a home crowd at Lottoland, and the Rabbitohs seemed powerless at times to stop it.
Walker said the 13-12 loss didn’t come as much of a surprise to him considering the week leading up the match his side's preparation wasn’t up to scratch.
"I think it was a bit of a wake-up call," [round two]Walker told NRL.com.
"It's been coming for a couple of weeks that sort of performance.
"We probably needed a game like that to kick us up the back side but we shouldn't have even let it get to that - we need to be better.
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs
"It showed in the last couple of games - we were very lucky against the Titans and pretty scrappy at the start of the game against the Dragons [round two]. Training has also been a bit scrappy and it showed in our performance.”
Rabbitohs fans will be pleased to hear that Walker himself will be okay to play in their round five clash against the Warriors on Saturday, after suffering another hit to a niggling shoulder injury he initially hurt against the Titans in round three.
In the second half of the Manly match, Walker was on his haunches a couple of times grabbing at his left shoulder. Later on a kick-return his knee dug into the Lottoland surface and he received treatment from the Rabbitohs trainer once more.
But the five-eighth told NRL.com it won’t see him on the sideline.
"It's alright,” Walker said.
"After landing on it awkwardly last week in a tackle it’s been a bit sore through the week, then I copped a bit of a knock in the second half and second time I went down I got winded.
"It's nothing serious though, I’ll take care of it through the week and I'll be right."
The Bunnies can’t afford to lose another strike player with the uncertainty of when Greg Inglis (shoulder) will return and with Braidon Burns (ankle, hamstring) set to spend at least another three weeks on the sideline.
Walker said when Inglis does return he will certainly boost the side's morale, but there's no need to rush the Australian and Queensland centre. After all Souths are 3-1 to start the 2019 Telstra Premiership - the Sea Eagles being their first loss.
"We want to make sure he's [Inglis] 100 per cent," Walker said.
"They will make that decision for him to come back when they feel he's right.
"He's one of the best centres to ever play our game so he will be a great addition but we don't want to rush him after one loss.
"It was a big loss losing Burnsy last weekend. He's been great for us over the past couple of weeks but I think Gags [Dane Gagai] did a great job for us in the centres this week."