As his new club, the North Queensland Cowboys hold their breath as they wait in anticipation for the outcome of the x-rays on Tate’s knee, Tate himself was visibly broken as he broke down in tears in the shed during last night’s Four Nations clash.
Tate’s future in the NRL is in immediate doubt, as he is expected to have torn his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), an injury which will sideline Tate for 9 months, effectively the entire NRL season except for the finals and the last few rounds.
Renowned orthopaedic surgeon Peter Meyers is expected to advise Tate on the necessary procedures, as both he and the Cowboys hope that the injury is not too serious.
In light of Tate’s injury, they now face even more pressure to retain current representative centre Willie Tonga, after it was rumoured that he asked for a release in order to join Parramatta.
Tate who was absolutely shattered after this most recent injury, has shown tremendous resolve to come back from his other knee reconstructions, as well as persistent neck problems, hence the neck brace that he wears.
The most telling moment perhaps came when Tate was in the locker room in tears, and he said to Kangaroos trainer Brian Hider at halftime, ” I think it’s all over”.
Paul Annett, the Australian team doctor is confident though that Tate will play NRL again.
“I had a look at his knee at half time and his cruciate was torn,” Dr Annett said.
“I’m 99 per cent sure, but you can always be wrong.
“It felt like, it sounded like it … as they say, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”
Tate’s team-mates were also distraught at the time, watching one of their mates limp off into the tunnel at half-time.
“It was pretty upsetting to see that with Tatey,” Australia prop David Shillington said.
“He’s had a bad run with injuries before this.
“It was heartbreaking for him and for the team.
“We tried to move on in the second half but it’s hard when you see that.”