Raiders' Coote fighting groin injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders' Coote fighting groin injury

By David Beniuk 08/08/2010 02:59:37 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matt Elliott has revealed fullback Lachlan Coote has been playing with a groin injury, a problem he hopes to have fully overcome for his battle with rival whiz kid Josh Dugan at Canberra Stadium on Monday night.

The 20-year-old pair will continue a rivalry, intensified by this year's City-Country clash, when Penrith head to the national capital after breaking a three-game losing streak against North Queensland last week.

Since that Friday night win, the Panthers headed into a mini-camp at Sydney Olympic Park to take advantage of a 10-day turnaround.

"Cootey's been battling injury the last three weeks, he's got a slight groin injury, it's been nagging him," Elliott told AAP.

"Hopefully this longer turnaround frees him up and we get to see his best footy."

The Raiders need a win to keep their slim finals hopes alive and Dugan's return from a shoulder injury will be crucial.

As will his battle with Coote, who former Raiders boss Elliott says is aiming to base his playing style on Test fullback Billy Slater.

"Lachy's a half coming through so if you have a think about how Billy Slater's progressed he didn't always play such a central role, his passing game wasn't great and Lachy's got a great pass, we just haven't unlocked that yet," Elliott said.

"I guess Dugan's probably more Jarryd Hayne, he pops up and a little bit less predictable."

The two young guns played junior rep footy together and Elliott has no doubt there will be something personal in their encounter on Monday night.

"They are two really exciting kids and I know both of them have highly competitive natures so, even though we say the fullbacks don't come together that often, they'll want to be outplaying the other one," the coach said.

Another excited about heading back to Canberra is Panthers centre Adrian Purtell, who left the Raiders in clouded circumstances at the end of 2009.

"It sort of ended up being mutual," Purtell told AAP.

"Life's too short to have any bad blood.

"I just was happy with the opportunity at Penrith presented to me and I came up here and I've been playing some regular first grade which is something that I was looking to do this year.

"There was a chance that I would have been heading overseas to play some footy over in the Super League so I guess it was a new lease of life."

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