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Judiciary, injuries threaten Manly

Date

Glenn Jackson

Star wars ... Steve Matai of the Eagles is put on report for a high tackle.

Star wars ... Steve Matai of the Eagles is put on report for a high tackle. Photo: Getty Images

MANLY'S hopes of defending their premiership may come down to two separate pieces of correspondence that they will receive today.

This morning, the Sea Eagles are likely to be given the results of scans on co-captain Jamie Lyon's calf injury, while in the early afternoon, fellow centre Steve Matai will learn his fate after the match-review committee releases its charges.

Sea Eagles officials are more optimistic of Lyon proving his fitness for Friday night's first semi-final against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium than they were.

Nervous wait ... Jason King of the Sea Eagles is placed on report.

Nervous wait ... Jason King of the Sea Eagles is placed on report. Photo: Getty Images

While Lyon, one of Manly's key players, had a protective boot on his lower leg immediately following the Sea Eagles' loss to the Bulldogs on Friday night, club medical staff believe the injury might not be as bad as feared.

There have been suggestions Lyon might have suffered a high calf strain. A low calf strain would almost certainly rule him out of Friday night's encounter, providing a significant blow to a side that faces losing players elsewhere.

Centre Steve Matai and prop Jason King face scrutiny over high tackles on Bulldogs Sam Perrett and Aiden Tolman respectively. Matai's poor record will ensure that even a low-grade suspension will be costly.

Fiery ... Manly's Anthony Watmough and the Bulldogs' Michael Ennis in a heated exchange.

Fiery ... Manly's Anthony Watmough and the Bulldogs' Michael Ennis in a heated exchange. Photo: Getty Images

However, the Sea Eagles have had some good news, as forwards Tony Williams and Joe Galuvao are expected to play despite suffering injuries.

Williams hyperextended his knee, while Galuvao suffered a calf injury, but the medical staff are confident they will play against the Cowboys.

Lyon remains the club's biggest injury doubt. He said after the game: ''Definitely, it's not the best. We've got to grin and bear it, and hopefully the [scan] results are good.'' With the Sea Eagles likely to be without one centre and possibly both, coach Geoff Toovey will have some thinking to do before he names his side tomorrow. He will likely shift winger Dean Whare into centre, possibly recalling Michael Oldfield to take Whare's spot on the wing. But if Manly lose both centres, Toovey may have to play a back-rower in the position, as he did on Friday night following Lyon's injury.

Injured ... Sea Eagles co-captain Jamie Lyon.

Injured ... Sea Eagles co-captain Jamie Lyon. Photo: Getty Images

Williams is one option, while Jamie Buhrer was brought on at right centre after Lyon's departure. The utility said he was comfortable about taking the job on again if needed.

''We've got a few options there,'' Buhrer said. ''Hopefully he is right, but if he's not and I have to play, I'll be more than happy to do that for the team. I've played there a few times this year and a few times last year … that's what I'm in the team for - to cover for them. Fingers crossed he's all good for next week.''

Still, Buhrer said the Sea Eagles' problems didn't begin and end with injuries or suspensions. ''There are some small positives to take out of the game, but overall, we just didn't complete,'' he said.

''It was as simple as that. We were in the game at the end, but in semi-finals, if you don't complete, then you're not going to win.

''We're just going to have to do it the hard way now.''

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs SAM 14:00Toll Stadium
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs ENG 16:00AAMI Park, Melbourne
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs ENG 17:30Forsyth Barr Stadium
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs SAM 16:00WIN
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 18 0
England 1 1 0 0 6 0
Samoa 1 0 1 0 -6 0
Australia 1 0 1 0 -18 0
View all
 
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