In a significant development for the Sydney Roosters, star centre Joey Manu appears likely to be named for the crucial Friday night showdown against South Sydney Rabbitohs. After undergoing scans, Manu has thankfully been cleared of severe injury, providing a potential boost to the Roosters‘ line-up. The critical clash at Accor Stadium could very well determine the final spot within the top eight teams.
Manu had his scans on Sunday morning after being restricted during Saturday’s game against the Tigers due to a hamstring injury. The results revealed a minor low-grade strain, initially sparking concerns that his season could be prematurely cut short. However, Roosters‘ fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the team is optimistic that Manu may be able to hit the field again.
On the downside, the short six-day turnaround may prove to be a challenge for Manu. Despite this, with the season’s fate hanging in the balance, the Roosters are seemingly prepared to tackle it head-on.
Furthermore, Manu’s absence was felt during the Roosters‘ elimination final against South Sydney last year, sidelined by a calf injury he incurred the previous week at the inaugural game at Allianz Stadium.
The Roosters will be facing yet another setback with prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves sidelined due to suspension. Optimistically, the return of their captain James Tedesco, who was obliged to withdraw from the match against the Tigers because of the NRL‘s 11-day concussion protocols, will further lift the team’s spirits.
The Tricolours’ predicament lies in whether to risk playing Manu despite the recent injury, a situation reminiscent of the previous year’s elimination final, where Daniel Tupou played despite a groin injury but failed to complete the match.
Assuming Manu secures game time this Friday, a contingency plan has been set in motion by the Roosters. Rookie sensation Siua Wong, who filled the centre position when Manu was forced off the field, would most likely be on alert.
To further boost their strength, the Roosters can count on the return of Angus Crichton, who made a last-minute withdrawal on Saturday. Fans will no doubt look forward to his appearance against his former club, South Sydney.