Hooker Issac Luke is rated as doubtful for the Warriors’ next NRL match after a training ground injury meant he missed the defeat to Melbourne.
The experienced Kiwis international sat out the 21-14 loss in Auckland on Sunday with a leg injury after falling awkwardly in a tackle at the captain’s run the previous day.
Warriors head of athletic performance Balin Cupples said the issue isn’t long term and the club will have a better idea later in the week as to when Luke would be back.
But his chances of being available for Newcastle’s visit on Easter Monday were rated as “small”.
Luke’s absence against the Storm meant an NRL debut for 20-year-old Jazz Tevaga, who acquitted himself well during his 59 minutes of game time.
He had to play more minutes than expected with back-up hooker Nathaniel Roache lasting just seven minutes off the bench before spraining an ankle.
He was also bashed about, copping a big hit from Kenny Bromwich and then needing stitches after a head knock.
At one stage, with Tevaga and Roache both off the field, second rower Bodene Thompson filled in at dummy-half.
Tevaga said his call-up on Saturday was a shock but he was rapt to have marked an opponent of the stature of Storm skipper Cameron Smith
“He’s the best hooker in the world,” Tevaga said.
“It’s a dream come true that I’m playing guys like that. I thought I went all right.”
Smith said Luke’s presence would have been valuable for the Warriors, but he had plenty of praise for Tevaga.
“He was sort of battered and bruised at the end there, but I thought he played extremely well,” Smith said.
“They lost Roache fairly early too, so the young lad had to play pretty much the majority of the game.”