South Sydney proved just why they remain a long way from being the finished product after labouring their way to a 14-12 win over Cronulla at ANZ Stadium in Sydney last night.
It looked a case of how many as the Rabbitohs produced a blistering start via the boot of Adam Reynolds, but the foot which hovered above the throat of the Sharks never came down amid a barrage of dropped balls and poor last-play options.
The visitors almost paid the ultimate price for their wastefulness when Beau Ryan picked up one such fumble and raced 92 metres to cut the margin to two with 14 minutes to go.
But the Rabbitohs held on to remain one of just three teams undefeated after the opening two rounds.
Greg Inglis looked in an ominous mood with an early kick return providing the impetus for Souths' opener after five minutes, when Reynolds laid it on a platter for Andrew Everingham with a deft chip kick.
Reynolds showed what else he had in his kit bag, grubbering for Dylan Farrell to double the lead.
But Cronulla stuck to the task and came up with a reply via Michael Gordon, who picked up a bouncing ball after Todd Carney had beaten three defenders in a run near the line.
Reynolds added a penalty goal after the halftime siren.
The Sharks lost Luke Lewis to injury 12 minutes into the second half, and the Rabbitohs looked like they had kicked away via Nathan Merritt before the hour mark only for the try to be denied because of obstruction.
Ryan's try added to the Rabbitohs' frustration as did another no-try video referee ruling. South Sydney 14 (A Everingham, D Farrell tries; A Reynolds 3 goals) bt Cronulla 12 (M Gordon, B Ryan tries; M Gordon 2 goals).