Nightmare for Blues as three injured - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nightmare for Blues as three injured

By David Beniuk 27/06/2011 10:19:36 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Ricky Stuart's worst nightmare became reality with three more of his State of Origin stars now in doubt for next week's series decider after Monday night's 24-6 NRL win by St George Illawarra over Manly.

Five-eighth Jamie Soward and backrowers Ben Creagh and Glenn Stewart can now be added to an injury list that already included utility Kurt Gidley, centre Michael Jennings and forward Beau Scott when Stuart picked a 20-man squad on Sunday.

Soward limped from WIN Stadium after scoring the 90m match-clincher in the Dragons' win, aggravating a case of hamstring tendonitis.

Creagh was forced to ice his troublesome ankle, while Stewart suffered a back injury which Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler told Triple M was causing him to be "quite distressed".

The triple blow is a savage hit to Stuart, who had been fiercely critical of the scheduling of the top of the table clash, which featured seven NSW squad members and Queenslander Darius Boyd.

"I finished the run, I was pretty happy we scored obviously, and stood up and it just didn't feel right," Soward said of his leg muscle.

"It's up a little bit high, just heading towards the bum, so they tell me that's a good sign.

"It's just a little bit sore so I just came off as a precaution.

"I'll just wait and see how it pulls up in the next couple of days." Soward said the problem had been managed by Dragons medical staff all year.

"I'll do what's best for NSW," he said.

"If it's not a hundred per cent right to take the field then I'll put my hand up and let Sticky (Stuart) and the medical staff know," he said.

Stuart had gone as far as asking players to stand down from the game, a suggestion rejected by NRL boss David Gallop.

The debate about scheduling has raged all series and Soward added his voice to those calling for stand-alone weekends for Origin.

"It would give us a chance to obviously play with our team and also get the right amount of rest and recovery to play what's the biggest game of the year," he said.

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett said Creagh would be a "wait and see situation" while Scott (knee), who skipped the Manly game, is on track to play in Brisbane on July 6.

Dragons centre Kyle Stanley bagged a double in a fiery affair that resulted in two players being placed on report and another, Jason King, likely to be scrutinised over the use of his knee after Stanley had scored his second.

Old enemies Mark Gasnier and Steve Matai almost came to blows twice within minutes after Matai was placed on report for a swinging arm on Dragons winger Jason Nightingale.

Earlier Dragons stand-in captain Nathan Fien was also placed on report for a high shot that left Manly fullback Brett Stewart dazed.

The Dragons led 12-0 at halftime before Manly hit back two minutes after the break through Brett Stewart.

But two tries in three minutes to the home side, through Stanley and Soward, sealed the win in front of 18,974 at the remodelled Wollongong ground.

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