The Sydney Roosters have been dealt a significant blow with reports emerging that Luke Keary suffered a fractured jaw during their hard-fought 18-16 victory over the Newcastle Knights, a win that has injected new hope into their season. Keary sustained the injury while attempting a cover tackle on Knights speedster Dom Young, who accidentally kicked him in the face.
Concerned about the extent of the damage, the Roosters immediately took Keary off the field, with fears that he could miss up to eight weeks of play. This news comes at a crucial time for the team, as they currently have the fewest points scored this season and are striving to keep up with the top eight.
While there were no signs of concussion, the Roosters are awaiting the results of Keary’s scans, adding to their list of setbacks that already includes injured stars Sam Walker and Brandon Smith. Despite these challenges, the Roosters were able to secure a narrow win against the Knights, who staged a formidable comeback in the second half.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson will now face a selection dilemma as Joseph Manu‘s exceptional performance forces him to reconsider his position. As the fullback, Manu ran more meters than any other player in a match this season, delivering a stunning comeback. Although captain James Tedesco is set to reclaim his position after the State of Origin, Robinson will have to decide whether to shift Manu back to the five-eighth position or select him as the right centre.
Manu struggled in the halves this season, with only one try and one assist under his belt. However, due to Keary’s injury, Manu may have to return to that role in the upcoming game. With his remarkable performance in Newcastle, where he registered 178 meters, five tackle busts, and four offloads in the first half alone, Manu showcased his talent and asserted himself as a top-notch fullback. He even scored an exceptional solo try when his team needed it the most, solidifying his case for being one of the best fullbacks worldwide. Speaking after the game, Manu expressed his love for the freedom that comes with playing fullback and his satisfaction with his performance in that position.
Meanwhile, the Newcastle Knights had high hopes after nearly defeating the Brisbane Broncos last week. However, their expectations quickly turned into a nightmare as they delivered one of their poorest performances of the season against a depleted Roosters side that seemed ripe for the picking. The disappointment was felt by the large crowd in attendance. Although the Knights got off to a fortunate start with an early try from Dom Young, their first half was marred by numerous mishaps and self-destruction. The low point came in the second half when Kalyn Ponga made a breakthrough run, only for his teammates to fumble passes and allow the ball to go out of bounds, squandering a potential try. Despite Ponga’s standout performance, the team as a whole struggled to deliver. It is evident that they cannot rely solely on Ponga to carry them to victory.