Manly’s hopes of an unlikely NRL form turnaround against defending champions North Queensland next Monday have taken a hit with more injury woe.
The Sea Eagles will travel to Townsville without hooker Matt Parcell (hamstring) or youngster Liam Knight (ankle) after both suffered injuries in Monday night’s 30-10 loss to Gold Coast at Robina.
The pair join a lengthy injury list at the Sea Eagles which has contributed massively to the club’s six-game losing streak, leaving them a lowly 14th on the ladder.
Prop Marty Taupau says the latest injury setbacks continue an unbelievable run for his new club.
“I don’t know who’s holding the freaking voodoo doll,” Taupau told AAP.
“Just dropping like flies and it’s really hard for us to build a solid core and a solid team as well.
“You’ve got Matt Parcell, one of our leading hookers, whose gone down. You’ve got (Daly) Cherry-Evans, our leading halfback, he’s gone down and you’ve got Jamie Lyon, he’s in strife with his hamstring.
“The players that are fit, we’ve just got to take it in our stride and do what we’ve got to do.”
Out of an injured list of 11, Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett is hoping captain Lyon and chief playmaker Cherry-Evans may come into contention for the Cowboys clash.
But even those who have remained on the field are playing hurt, with Barrett admitting youngster Tom Trbojevic is playing on “one leg” and will need ankle surgery at season’s end.
Trbojevic has been among the Sea Eagles’ best this season but spent a lot of the loss to the Sea Eagles grimacing in pain as he favoured his injured left ankle.
The form of veteran fullback Brett Stewart is also raising eyebrows with the former NSW custodian making little impact against the Titans.
Taupau defended Stewart however, saying he was being asked to perform without any platform from his teammates.
“Most of it comes with the forwards,” he said.
“If the forwards don’t get going forward than the rest of the team don’t have that platform to work from.
“I don’t believe Snake is down on form … we’re all here to look after each other and play our best.”
GROUNDED SEA EAGLES – Manly’s injury list
Jayden Hodges (knee)
Tim Moltzen (ankle)
Isaac John (pec)
Feleti Mateo (neck)
Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle)
Jamie Lyon (hamstring)
Brenton Lawrence (pec)
Steve Matai (neck)
Nate Myles (knee)
Matt Parcell (hamstring)
Liam Knight (ankle)