New South Wales halfback Nathan Cleary has injured his hamstring during a match against Penrith, possibly putting his spot in Game II in doubt.
The player sustained the injury while on a defensive play at BlueBet Stadium. He was taken off the field in the 15th minute and replaced by Mitchell Moses. Cleary has no known history of hamstring problems, and while there has been no official word from the NSW camp on the severity of the injury, it is likely to give coach Brad Fittler cause for concern.
The injury will be an unwelcome headache for the NSW coach ahead of Game II, which will take place in Brisbane on June 21. The state team will need to make history if they are to save the series, as no NSW team has ever come back with a victory in Brisbane. Cleary’s kicking game is crucial to the Blues’ fortunes, and a replacement for the halfback will need to be named.
Several players are considered possible replacements for Cleary, including Nicho Hynes, Mitchell Moses and Adam Reynolds. Fittler will name his squad for Game II in a week’s time, and it remains to be seen who will be named as Cleary’s replacement.