South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt says NRL superstar Greg Inglis only dives to score tries.

Merritt and the Rabbitohs have leapt to Inglis's defence after the champion fullback was dubbed Dally M diver of the year for earning Souths a timely penalty in Friday night's vital win over Manly.

Coach Michael Maguire was furious at the suggestion Inglis would feign injury to milk a penalty, but the incident has nevertheless placed the spotlight on players staying down in a bid to pressure referees with matches on the line.

"He's definitely not a diver. He can dive when he scores, that's about it," Merritt said on Tuesday.

"It's definitely not in the Souths culture. I know that."

To a man, Merritt's teammates agree, with forward Ben Lowe saying Inglis didn't need to use gamesmanship.

"It's not the way we play our footy around here," Lowe said.

"He's had trouble with his knee and obviously he might have bumped it on the weekend, and he obviously copped a bit of a high shot there.

"He's definitely not a diver. He plays football at the elite level. He plays his footy tough."

Lowe, though, admitted that, come the crunch, "a penalty can change a game".

"I'm not sure if boys are laying down on purpose or whatever but it definitely helps if you get a penalty," he said.

"But I don't think anyone in the NRL's out there to lay down. It's a tough sport, a tough game.

"Sometimes the knocks mightn't look as big on the big screen but, when you're out there, they definitely don't miss you."

Prop Roy Asotasi also insisted it wasn't in the Rabbitohs' culture to stay down.

"Part of our style is to play it fast and not to have any stoppages," he said.

"I don't think GI would have tried to dive or milk anything."

Souths' return to the winners' circle, after two straight defeats threatened their position in the top two, coincided with Inglis's comeback from a month out with a knee injury.

"He definitely adds a lot," Asotasi said.

"You've just got to see what he's done for Australia and for Queensland.

"He definitely adds that X-factor or spark to the team and he's been doing that for Souths for the last few years, ever since Maguire took over and he made that switch to fullback.

"We took a lot of confidence knowing that GI's out there."

Inglis's teammate Jeff Lima has also come under fire for his leg-twisting tackle on Manly back-rower Anthony Watmough.

Lima on Tuesday accepted a one-match ban, ruling him from Friday's clash with Canterbury, but greats believe he should have copped a lengthier suspension.

Asotasi said although the league had dealt with the incident, he expected coach Maguire to also have a quiet word with Lima as the finals approach.

"Come the business end, you've got to be make sure you're clean in all areas of the game," he said.

"Because we need to have the best players out on the field."