MacDougall out for clash with Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

MacDougall out for clash with Roosters

By Todd Balym 14/05/2009 05:42:01 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle veteran Adam MacDougall has been ruled out of Saturday's NRL clash with the Sydney Roosters as he struggles to overcome a calf injury.

MacDougall has played just six games this year, and just once in the past month, as the rigours of NRL football and the quick turnaround between games takes their toll on his 34-year-old body.

Fijian international Akuila Uate remains in doubt after attending his grandmother's funeral in Fiji this week.

Wes Naiqama and Keith Lulia are in line to replace the duo for the trip to the Sydney Football Stadium.

"Adam MacDougall, I will say he is almost certain to be out," said coach Brian Smith on Thursday.

"He is just not recovering as quickly as we would like to that calf injury.

"I don't think there's any risk-taking to be involved there."

Smith, meanwhile, says he is expecting a more dominant performance from his halves after dumping Scott Dureau for Ben Rogers this week.

Dureau has been the scapegoat even though the Knights beat the Gold Coast last week, with Smith revealing his trio of playmakers, including NSW prospect Jarrod Mullen, had yet to demand NRL selection.

"To be honest we were not happy with our halves at all last week," said Smith.

"We thought we were very disappointing in that area and we're just trying to get the best out of those guys is what we're trying to do.

"Coming up with the right combination is sometimes a battle for the coach but it's more to do I think with which ones of those guys work best at just showing us you just cannot afford to drop them, that they have to be in there.

"They have not really done that for us at this point."

Newcastle will not be taking the lowly Roosters lightly on Saturday with Smith well aware his side has won just two of five away trips this year.

"I think we have seen every week of the season so far that teams on the bottom can beat teams on the top," he said.

"If you don't turn up with a really good attitude and a good plan and the discipline to complete the plan under pressure, then you're going to get beaten.

"We need to make sure our game is well and truly in order this weekend."

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