REPRESENTATIVE front-rower Brett White will miss the rest of the season as the Canberra Raiders' injury toll continues to mount.
Already without NSW fullback Josh Dugan and workaholic lock Shaun Fensom, the Raiders' depth will be tested after the former Blues and Kangaroos enforcer ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in last night's 22-6 loss to the Cowboys. The Raiders will also be without second-rower Joel Thompson for the next two to three weeks with a lateral ankle sprain.
White was consoled by his wife in the dressing sheds after the game, while Cowboys lock and former Melbourne teammate Dallas Johnson also provided words of support.
Raiders prop Dane Tilse described White's loss as ''shattering'' and said it was up to the rest of the forward pack to fill the gap.
"Whitey's a great leader for us, with his talk and what he does on the field,'' Tilse said. "A few of us other front-rowers are going to have to step up to cover him. He was playing the best footy he's played. Last week he was making 15-metre charges, so everyone's going to have to fill the void.''
Dugan is expected to return from a shoulder injury in round 10, while Fensom is hopeful of being back in a month from a torn bicep. Test front-rower David Shillington is rated an outside chance of returning from an oblique injury for Sunday's match with the Warriors.
White left the field in a medicab in the 20th minute, with Thompson hobbling off the park soon after.
But that should not be used as an excuse for the Raiders' inability to trouble the Cowboys' defence.
The Raiders were on the verge of being kept scoreless at home for just the second time in their history until Sam Mataora grabbed a consolation try in the 62nd minute.
"I'm not going to blame injuries,'' Canberra coach David Furner said. "You can be in a game with a slow start, but you can't with a team like the Cowboys. We lost far too much energy in our middle.''
Raiders centre Shaun Berrigan was placed on report for a swinging arm on Gavin Cooper, while Cowboys prop James Tamou also went into the book for a shot on Blake Ferguson.
Cowboys coach Neil Henry applauded the way his side nullified the impact of skipper Terry Campese, who was brilliant in last week's 30-16 win against the Wests Tigers.
"I think we did a good job at shutting down Campo and stifling their attack,'' Henry said. "They're a side that can score plenty of points and did last week.''