As our panelist ‘The Grubber’ predicted; the injury shockwaves from State of Origin 3 are still rippling through the NRL club sides and in this critical period leading up to the finals it can wreak havoc on clubs with limited depth and critical matches coming up:
Dallas Johnson – After copping a severe head knock, the talented Storm forward will miss at least 1 week as a precaution – fortunately for the Storm they have plenty of depth to cover.
Brent Tate – A season ending blow for the Brisbane Broncos, with a full knee rebuild needed. This will have an effect on Brisbane, as the club hit form in the last few weeks – losing an international centre will hurt.
Greg Inglis – A sideline stint of only a few weeks, the Storm do have Billy Slater ready to roll and he will cover for Inglis – however a few players missing for the Storm may place a few speed bumps in the 2006 Minor Premiers road ahead. (Don’t forget Kafusi is also out for the year from Origin 1)
Brett Kimmorley – The Sharks halfback will miss at least 1 game at a crucial time. The Cronulla boys face the Bulldogs this weekend in a blockbuster. The cost here could be huge. Both the Bulldogs and Sharks desperately need these 2 points on offer.
Nate Myles – Injured his shoulder, but after a brief fitness test today is expected to play. His minutes for the Roosters may be reduced however. Roosters not in a position to be affected, can’t realistically make the Top 8 and are already without some key players.
Karmichael Hunt – Suspected niggle in his ankle. Expected to play through the injury and line up this week. Should this problem worsen, the Broncos lose more backline power – with Tate already goneskis. Injuries must be at the forefront of Wayne Bennetts mind, expect Tonie Carroll to be protecting Darren Lockyer from harm in the weeks ahead.
Brett Stewart – Stewart possibly has a minor leg injury, hopefully for Manly fans it’s only a cork – but possibly an ankle or knee was giving him slight discomfort as a result of Origin 3. Punters will watch with interest.
Petero Civoniceva – *May now be a late starter tonight according to Broncos Media Releases. They do say the most important positions are the; 1, 6, 7 and 9. The Broncos don’t have a top line no. 7, their no. 1 is under a cloud – so you can see why Darren Lockyer will be ‘the boy in the bubble’ for the rest of the year.
Jarryd Hayne – Copped deep face wounds in Origin 3, said to be the result of either Brent Tates studs or advertising signage in the collision on the sideline. Michael Hagan may take the chance to rest Hayne and use Kris Inu at wing with Timana Tahu coming back into the Eels side this week.
The big winner out of the Origin series is the Wests Tigers. The Tigers didn’t lose any players to Origin and can be at peak fitness and energy levels when attacking other sides during this period. While in some cases Origin fatigue does even out, with most teams losing between 1 and 3 players – the Broncos, Cowboys and Melbourne really feel the pinch with these sides supplying the majority of Queensland Origin players.