South Sydney skipper Greg Inglis has defended himself against accusations of returning from knee surgery too early after turning in a lukewarm performance in his side's NRL elimination final loss.
Test and Queensland State of Origin star Inglis was far from his explosive best and he typified the Rabbitohs' afternoon as their premiership defence came to a screeching halt against Cronulla.
The fullback was making his first appearance in three weeks since undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
During the lead-up, both he and coach Michael Maguire were adamant the fullback had fully recovered and he did not represent a risk.
However, Nine Network commentator and former premiership-winning coach Phil Gould observed that he was below 30 per cent.
"It's not the real Greg Inglis, is it?" Gould said during commentary.
Wearing strapping on his right knee, Inglis looked to be playing on one leg at times.
He was often limping heavily in back play and received attention from the Rabbitohs' trainer several times during the second half.
Just before halftime, he failed to pull in a Glenn Stewart offload and blew a golden scoring opportunity.
Cronulla's Jack Bird and Anthony Tupou also beat Inglis in the lead-up to their tries.
However, Inglis said he was unhindered.
"My knee was 100 per cent fine - I was 100 per cent fit," Inglis said.
"I did everything I can to get myself right for this game."
When asked if he would need more surgery, Inglis said: "No, I've already asked that question because I'm on a well-deserved break."
He finished the game with just 12 runs, down on his usual involvement.
Inglis's only bright spot was a strong 30-metre run after he plucked a short kickoff from the air to give his side strong field position in the second half.
Adding to the frustration, he was put on report for a high tackle on Cronulla captain Paul Gallen late in the game.