Injuries cloud Manly's title charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injuries cloud Manly's title charge

by Joe Barton 24/08/2010 05:12:54 PM Comments (0)

Injuries are threatening to cruel Manly's NRL premiership hopes, with the club losing forward Shane Rodney ahead of the crucial clash with Sydney Roosters this Sunday.

With a home final still up for grabs, the fifth-placed Sea Eagles are desperate to topple their sixth-placed rivals in a match that will help shape the final make-up of the top eight.

"They'll definitely be desperate, but in saying that we're pretty desperate as well," co-captain Jason King said on Tuesday.

"We want to finish as high up the top eight as we possible can and we want to be playing some really consistent football leading into the finals series.

"It's going to be a big match for both teams."

But they'll have to do it without Rodney, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an injury to his right knee.

"Shane is gone for the season, he's done his anterior (cruciate ligament)," coach Des Hasler said.

"That is a real shame, he's been one of our strongest and one of our best performers this year."

Hasler lamented the club's injury toll but said he expected the team to welcome back several stars in the next fortnight.

Backs Ben Farrar (knee) and Will Hopoate (hamstring) and star forward Anthony Watmough (ankle) will all face fitness tests later in the week in the hope of facing the Roosters.

Rodney has been replaced in Manly's starting line-up with utility Chris Bailey.

Prop Josh Perry (knee) is hopeful of returning for Manly's round 26 game with Canterbury but Australian representatives Brett Stewart and David Williams are no chance to return this year.

"It's been one of those years, we've had injuries but we might get a few back," Hasler said.

"We'll look at Ben Farrar, and we'll look at Will Hopoate and then the week after we might get a few more back."

Bench prop Matt Cross believes the Roosters will still bring plenty of confidence despite entering the important clash on the back of three straight losses.

"I dont think their confidence is down," he said.

"They've just missed those opportunities, I think they're still pretty confident of the football they can produce, so we've just got to be up to our A game as well."

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