Melbourne Storm five-eighth Gareth Widdop concedes losing Kevin Proctor for their preliminary final in a fortnight's time would be a 'massive loss' for the team.
Proctor was placed on report during the later stages of the Storm's 24-6 qualifying final win over South Sydney at AAMI Park on Saturday night for a lifting tackle on Sam Burgess.
And while Widdop is confident the second-rower will be spared a suspension, Proctor's value to the team wasn't lost on him.
"He's a really good player is Kevin, obviously he would be a massive loss, but I'm sure he will be fine," Widdop said prior to the Storm's recovery session at the St Kilda Sea Baths on Sunday.
Offsetting Proctor's potential absence is the fact that Anthony Quinn, Todd Lowrie, Jason Ryles and Sika Manu are all likely to be available after missing Saturday night's clash due to injury.
Proctor's report was a sour note on an otherwise fantastic night for Melbourne as they cruised to a second consecutive home preliminary final courtesy of a superb defensive performance which prohibited the Rabbitohs from hitting the scoreboard until the 71st minute.
And Widdop agreed the Storm executed their game plan on Saturday night better than at any stage during their current six-match winning streak.
"We've worked hard all year and we've had a few slow patches in games and I think last night everyone just worked really, really hard and things that we did during the week (at training) came off yesterday," Widdop said.
"Its finals football, it's a lot quicker and the intensity is a lot higher and everybody stepped up."
Widdop said it was important to keep things simple against the Rabbitohs rather than take any unnecessary risks.
"The last thing you want to be doing is turning the football over and giving the opposition time to attack your try line," he said.
"That was the idea, just to hold onto the football and we did that really well."
Melbourne superstar Billy Slater produced another stellar performance on Saturday night and Widdop believes the full-back may have benefitted from the six weeks he spent on the sidelines earlier in the season due to a knee injury.
Storm will next face either Manly or North Queensland in two weeks for a spot in the grand final but Widdop insisted he didn't have a preference over who their preliminary final opponent would be.
"Whoever we play it's going to be tough, finals footy," Widdop said.