Manly coach Des Hasler has criticised and reprimanded Steve Matai after his high shot on Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis, in Manly’s shock 30-24 defeat to the Dogs at Brookvale Oval.

Following the hit, Ennis had to be escorted off the field in the 50th minute after he was hit in a monster hit by Matai without the ball. Ennis would later return with 10 minutes left in the game to guide the Dogs to the win in front of 15,933 supporters.

Matai’s incredibly poor record with the judiciary will not work in his favour, as he was already banned earlier this year for a similar shot on Parramatta’s Jarryd Hayne, and he is almost certain to miss out on games next year, with a possible 4-5 game ban looming as the possible outcome.

“It didn’t look good from the first angle I saw it, I don’t think his carryovers are all that good so it doesn’t look good,” said Hasler.

“I think Steve will be disappointed, it puts us in a position where we need a player of his calibre … especially when we are already down on troops so we could do without it.

“Young centre Dean Whare injured himself in the 20s … it makes it even tougher for us now.”

Manly appear to be decimated by both suspensions and injury heading into the finals game.

Skipper Jason King and Chris Bailey have also been placed on report along with Matai, all of which were on report for high tackles.

Injury wise, Anthony Watmough (ankle), Kirean Foran (shoulder), Brent Kite (collarbone), Joe Galuvao (groin) and Jamie Lyon are all carrying niggling injuries.

“We are busted, left, right and centre in there, we are really struggling,” Hasler said.

Canterbury coach Kevin Moore was delighted with the amount of character that his team showed in the wake of adversity, and praised his players for a wonderful performance in what was Brett Kimmorley’s and Luke Patten’s last game for the Bulldogs.

Kimmorley, who played his 307th and final game is retiring, and outgoing fullback Luke Patten is headed to ESL club Salford after 10 years with the club.

“It has been a pretty tough season for us, we got off to a dusty start, we have had a lot of injuries up front which have hurt us, at the start of the year, but we have played our best footy at the back of the year.

“You get to the back end of the year when you can’t make it and you are probably looking for something to motivate you and I think it showed the esteem those two are held in that we played so well in their last game,” Moore said.

By ricky

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