Sydney Roosters defeat Sharks ahead of NRL finals, Shaun Johnson suffers serious injury


Cronulla is set to be without Shaun Johnson for its NRL finals campaign amid fears the star halfback snapped his Achilles tendon in a tough 34-18 loss to the Sydney Roosters at the SCG.

Johnson went down untouched clutching his lower right leg in the 48th minute and was soon after carted from the field.

He gave the thumbs up to the crowd from the back of the medicab before reports emerged of the season-ending injury.

Adding to the Sharks’ injury woes, prop Royce Hunt dislocated his right knee cap in the second half and Josh Dugan was taken off late with a knee ailment.

With just one match left before the finals, losing Johnson — who leads the NRL with 22 try-assists this season — is a disaster for the Sharks who will not have a second chance in week one.

And while the Sharks’ injury crisis dominated the second half, the opening 40 minutes was all about the Roosters.

The Roosters’ defence had the measure of the Sharks in the 16-point victory.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

It was a magical night for Mitch Aubusson, who scored a brace in his 303rd NRL match for the club to become their most-capped player.

The first was a short ball from Joseph Manu to crash over just five minutes after Aubusson led the team out as captain through a guard of honour.

But the second was more dubious.

Chasing through a grubber from Angus Crichton, Aubusson appeared to knock the ball on but replays showed he trapped it between his leg and hand.

The stroke of luck landed the milestone man his double and put the Roosters ahead 24-6 before they conceded late in the half.

After seven first-half errors the Sharks still managed to score twice with just 42 per cent possession, as they were steered around by Johnson before he went down.

Ronaldo Mulitalo and Siosifa Talakai scored in the first half but a third try to Braden Hamlin-Uele further punished the disjointed Roosters’ defence.

The premiers had enough class to polish off the win, even while missing some of their biggest stars.

James Tedesco, Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner all watched from the stands as the Roosters ran in six tries, including a double to Luke Keary.

All are set to return to play South Sydney on Friday night.

Storm post half-century

Two Melbourne Storm NRL players embrace after scoring a try against Wests Tigers.
Storm captain Cameron Smith had plenty of reasons to smile during his side’s win.(AAP: Regi Varghese)

Melbourne has sealed a top-two berth ahead of the NRL finals after claiming a comfortable 50-22 win over the Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Coast.

The Storm ran in nine tries against the Wests Tigers, with wingers Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr each chipping in with doubles.

Captain Cameron Smith, Nicho Hynes, Jahrome Hughes, Justin Olam and Tino Faasuamaleaui also crossed for Storm tries.

The comfortable victory featured a comical moment between Smith and Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

The Storm were leading by 16 points late in the match when Smith kicked ahead for himself to claim the 47th try of his career.

Smith’s tally surpassed the total achieved Bellamy during his 150-match career with Canberra between 1982 and 1992.

Smith instantly directed his celebration towards the coach’s box on the Sunshine Coast, before Bellamy responded by giving Smith the finger in jest.

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It was a vintage performance from Smith, who finished the night with a try assist, seven conversions from nine attempts, and 30 tackles.

Rookie Asu Kepaoa scored two of the Wests Tigers’ four tries.

The Storm will finish second on the ladder to Penrith, who wrapped up the minor premiership with a victory over the Cowboys on Friday night.

Trbojevic injured in loss to Gold Coast

A Manly Sea Eagles NRL receives treatment from a trainer during the match against the Gold Coast Titans.
Injury-plagued Tom Trbojevic (left) was forced from the field in the Sea Eagles’ loss.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Tom Trbojevic sustained a shoulder injury in his long-awaited return for Manly, who went down to Gold Coast in a crushing 42-24 defeat at Brookvale Oval.

Playing his first match since June after being sidelined with a troublesome hamstring injury, Trbojevic was hurt attempting to make a tackle on Titans fullback AJ Brimson during the second half.

Brimson crossed for a try, with Trbojevic left with his right arm dangling by his side before he later departed the field.

Manly officials were initially hopeful the injury was only a stinger, but it comes at the worst possible time for Trbojevic.

Including Saturday’s loss, he had just two matches to impress New South Wales coach Brad Fittler before the end-of-season State of Origin series.

Trbojevic looked particularly rusty at the back on Saturday afternoon in both attack and defence, with two of his four errors coming after the shoulder injury.

His presence in attack helped Manly score one try as he drew in two defenders off the ball, while he also helped chase down Titans flyer Treymain Spry Sprei to deny him a 90-metre intercept try.

But on other occasions his injury lay-off showed, such as his failure to shadow a grubber dead that allowed Kevin Proctor to score and his fumbling of a poor Tevita Funa pass in the lead-up to another Titans try.

Regardless, the Sea Eagles were completely outplayed by the Titans, who posted their equal-highest score in their 14-year history.

The Titans have now won four straight matches for the first time since 2014. They are ninth on the ladder after being tipped by a number of commentators to collect the wooden spoon.

Brimson scored two tries, including an 80-metre effort that left referee Matt Noyen with an injured hamstring after Young Tonumaipea found his teammate from a 20-metre tap.

Tonumaipea also claimed a brace, making the most of a 60-metre intercept from Corey Thompson for his second.

Thompson finished the match off with a hamstring injury after earlier scoring a try, while Sam Stone and Spry scored the Titans’ other tries.

The result means Manly will finish the season with just one win from seven matches at its home ground Brookvale Oval.

AAP/ABC



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Tom Trbojevic’s shoulder injury in Titans biggest ever total against Manly


The Gold Coast Titans have made club history with its biggest ever total in the NRL in a 42-24 win but it’s just the tip of the iceberg of Manly’s disastrous day.

The long-awaited return of Tom Trbojevic ended with 18 minutes remaining with a shoulder injury, having run around for several minutes with his right arm dangling by his side.

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It was a sad end to his afternoon in his return match from a serious knee injury.

Trbojevic ran straight down the tunnel after the Titans scored the try to go up 42-12.

Manly told Fox League it was just a stinger but he was taken from the field as more of a precaution.

In his press conference, Manly coach Des Hasler said he wasn’t sure how seirous the injry was but that it could be a rotator cuff although scans would be required tonight.

But it was an ugly look with Trbojevic‘s arm hanging limply by his side when not in possession of the ball and could potentially give NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler some worries as he admitted he would still pick Trbojevic for State of Origin, despite his return with only two games remaining.

“No, not at all (a concern),” Fittler told Nine‘s Sunday Footy Show last week.

“We come together on the 19th. Given the doctor situation we will have a good idea of how Tom is (Manly’s doctor is the NSW doctor).

“He‘s a very good player Tom, he is one of the best in the game. So if he is fit and healthy, he gets a start.

“We have a 27-man squad, so a lot will be determined over the next six weeks as well. See how he goes over the next two games.”

Post-match, rugby league Immortal Mal Meninga said it was “bad luck” and said the injury “looked like an AC”.

“They said it was just a bit of pins and needles but to me it looked like an AC,” he said.

“Looked more than that,” Michael Ennis agreed. “He looked in awful discomfort. It’s just such a shame, the whole conversation was the return of Tom Trbojevic. He’s a star, he’s a player that bring people through the gates. No doubt for the NSW staff, they’ll be on high alert but I didn’t think it look good.”

Ennis added that he was devastated about the injury and pointed to a try saver where he stopped a near certain try for Titans centre Treymain Spry

Cooper Cronk added: “It’s hard to tell, if it’s a shoulder injury and it’s significant, you come off straight away. We’ve got no idea what’s going on there. But for me, he played for 10 minutes, he was hampered but that’s a very good sign that it’s not a huge injury.”

Brother and Sea Eagles teammate Jake Trbojevic said “being his big brother, it’s hard to see how it is on him” as he continues to go through injury dramas.

The Titans were on fire throughout the match, equalling the club’s highest score, set in the 42-4 win over Parramatta in round 11 of the 2013 season.

But Manly would not give up easily.

After the Titans ran out to the 30 point lead, the Sea Eagles hit back with two late tries were unable to take it off the Gold Coast for another good win.

“The Titans fourth win in a row, they are a team on the rise,” Dan Ginnane said in commentary.

The side have a chance to equal the club’s best winning streak of five next weekend against the Newcastle Knights.

Manly finish off their season against the New Zealand Warriors.



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Big changes for Tigers, Blues lose three to injury


The teams for Saturday’s games are in, with big changes across the board.

The Tigers have brought in some big names, while Carlton has lost three players to injury.

See the changes below:

Richmond

IN: David Astbury, Josh Caddy, Mabior Chol, Shane Edwards

OUT: Ivan Soldo (Injured), Oleg Markov (Omitted), Shai Bolton (Injured), Tom J. Lynch (Injured)

Adelaide

IN: Daniel Talia, David Mackay, Taylor Walker

OUT: Billy Frampton (Omitted), Bryce Gibbs (Retired), Jordon Butts (Omitted)

Brisbane

IN: Brandon Starcevich, Lincoln McCarthy, Stefan Martin

OUT: Archie Smith (Omitted), Mitchell Hinge (Omitted), Noah Answerth (Managed)

Carlton

IN: Cameron Polson, Jack Martin, Marc Pittonet, Matthew Kennedy

OUT: Lochie O’Brien (Omitted), Sam Docherty (Injured), Will Setterfield (Injured), Zac Fisher (Injured)

Essendon

IN: Jayden Laverde, Mason Redman, Michael Hurley

OUT: Andrew Phillips (Omitted), Jacob Townsend (Omitted), Mitchell Hibberd (Omitted)

Melbourne

IN: Michael Hibberd

OUT: Neville Jetta (Omitted)






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French Open 2020: US Open champion Naomi Osaka pulls out with injury


Osaka also won the US Open title in 2018

US Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open, which is scheduled to start on 27 September.

Last weekend, the Japanese player won her second US Open, and third grand slam title, with a 1-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Victoria Azarenka in New York.

She said in a statement:external-link “I won’t be able to play at the French Open.

“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay. These two tournaments came too close to each other for me.”

The 22-year-old had her left hamstring wrapped in tape when she beat Azarenka in the final at Flushing Meadow.

The world number three, who won the Australian Open in 2019, has never gone beyond round three at Roland Garros.





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AFL 2020: Josh Kennedy injury, West Coast, Eagles injury list, injuries, Adam Simpson, Eagles Roos


West Coast Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy has suffered an ankle injury on the eve of finals, which has seen him ruled out midway through his side’s clash with North Melbourne on Thursday night.

Late in the second quarter at Metricon Stadium, Kennedy landed awkwardly in a marking contest, before limping off and going straight to the rooms.

Coach Adam Simpson provided an update to Fox Footy just before the start of the third quarter.

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Round 18



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Parramatta five-eighth Dylan Brown won’t return from injury until second week of finals


Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has urged his struggling Eels to step up with star five-eighth Dylan Brown not expected to return from his injured ankle until the second week of the finals.

The Eels’ attack has suffered while Brown has been on the sidelines for the past two weeks.

The New Zealand-born No.6 will miss Friday’s clash against Brisbane at Bankwest Stadium, but Arthur revealed he was on track to return in the second weekend of the finals in three weeks’ time.

Brown, who is out of his recovery boot, has started restricted running but will increase to full weighted running next week.

“So, we’ll see how he goes,” Arthur said.

“They have indicated maybe week 2 of the finals, so our job is to make sure that we get to that stage so we can get him back on the field.

“That is the indication, but we are not putting any pressure on the kid, and we’ll just wait and see what happens.”

On a positive note, Parramatta welcome back hooker Reed Mahoney for Friday’s Brisbane clash after he missed last weekend’s loss to Penrith with a shoulder injury.

“We’ve had two sessions this week and he (Reed) has already got through those, so I’m sure he will play,” he said.

“It is pretty unfair on Stoney (Ray). He has done a good job. He is a 13 and not a noted dummy half but he was one of our better players.

“But it will be nice to have Reed back, so we can get back to playing the way we want to play.”

The Eels have lost their mojo in attack, as shown when they were held to two points against Penrith, while they didn’t register a point against Souths in round 16.

But coach Arthur hasn’t lost faith despite this disappointing patch of form.

“We can’t be worried about the past – we’ve got an opportunity to make sure that we get it right,” he said.

“We are not exactly where we want to be, but the good thing about it is that we have got a couple of weeks to make sure that we try and consolidate that top four spot.

“From there we will worry about what is after that.

“Over the last couple of weeks our possession rate has been poor. We haven’t built any pressure, and we haven’t played the style of footy that we want to play, and that is disappointing, and that is what we need to get back to.”



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Lolesio to lead Brumbies in injury return


Young gun Noah Lolesio will lead the Brumbies into the Super Rugby AU grand final against Queensland despite not playing for two months.

Coach Dan McKellar has opted for a new halves pairing for Saturday night’s clash in Canberra, with Lolesio partnering Joe Powell and Wallabies halfback Nic White and Bayley Kuenzle relegated to the reserves,

Lolesio injured his hamstring in mid-July but impressed enough before that issue to be named in the Wallabies squad last week.

“As a team we’re really happy for Noah,” McKellar said.

“He was playing good footy before his setback, he’s done a lot of work to get himself right and trained very well over the last two weeks.

“We’ve got full confidence and belief in his ability.”

Following their last-round loss to the Reds, the Brumbies have named an all-Wallabies front row with props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa along with hooker Folau Fainga’a.

Murray Douglas returns to the starting XV to partner Cadeyrn Neville in the second row while Lachlan McCaffrey will wear the No.6 jersey.

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Will Miller, Lachlan McCaffrey, Cadeyrn Neville, Murray Douglas, Allan Alaalatoa (capt), Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio, Res: Connal McInerney, James Slipper, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Bayley Kuenzle, Solomone Kata.





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Paris St-Germain 0-1 Marseille: Five sent off in injury time after brawl


Neymar has been sent off three times in his Paris St-Germain career

Neymar was one of five players sent off after an injury-time brawl as Marseille beat Paris St-Germain in Ligue 1.

As he left the pitch, PSG’s Brazil forward told the fourth official he had heard a racist comment.

Florian Thauvin scored the only goal as PSG lost their opening two league games for the first time since 1984-85.

Home substitutes Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa, and Marseille’s Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto, were dismissed along with Neymar.

The referee watched a video assistant referee (VAR) replay of a punch by Neymar before showing the 28-year-old a straight red card.

After the match, Neymar posted on social media to say that his “only regret” was not hitting Marseille’s Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez in the face, having struck him on the back of the head.

In response, Gonzalez denied claims of any wrongdoing, posting on social media: “There is no place for racism.”

In the post-match news conference Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas said: “There is no place for racism in football but I don’t think that was the case.

“We’ll have to look at it.”

The game, which was watched by a crowd of about 5,000 fans at the Parc des Princes, was fractious even before that late brawl. There were 17 cards shown, a record for a Ligue 1 game in the 21st Century.

The injury-time drama started when Marseille’s Benedetto nudged Paredes in the back, with the PSG midfielder then punching him to the ground before appearing to headbutt Alvaro.

A melee broke out, with Kurzawa and Amavi punching and kicking each other.

Benedetto and Paredes were shown second yellow cards, with Kurzawa and Amavi given straight reds.

The VAR review showed Neymar had punched Alvaro, a player he had been in a running battle with, and the forward was shown a straight red card, having earlier been booked.

Alvaro had also been involved in a big first-half flashpoint when he suggested Angel di Maria spat at him.

Di Maria was one of seven PSG players – along with Neymar – to test positive for coronavirus before the season started, although he had since provided a negative test.

Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar
Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar are involved in a coming together during the game
Neymar argues with Alvaro Gonzalez and other Marseille players
Things escalate as more players become embroiled in the argument
Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar arguing, with the Brazilian forward pointing his finger at the Marseille player
Neymar points his finger at Alvaro Gonzalez

What about the game itself?

Under any other circumstances the headlines would have been about a famous victory for Villas-Boas’ Marseille over the French champions.

Marseille had last beaten PSG in Le Classique – one of French football’s biggest rivalries – in 2011.

PSG – who were beaten 1-0 by promoted Lens on Thursday – have lost their opening two league matches for the first time in 36 years. They finished 13th that season.

The last time they lost their opening two fixtures without scoring was 1978.

Including the Champions League final against Bayern Munich only 21 days ago, that is three 1-0 defeats in a row for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Thauvin scored the only goal when he volleyed Dimitri Payet’s free-kick in from close range. Di Maria and Benedetto both had goals disallowed for offside.

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Line-ups

PSG

  • 16Rico
  • 24FlorenziBooked at 13minsSubstituted forDagbaat 84′minutes
  • 4Kehrer
  • 3Kimpembe
  • 14BernatBooked at 52minsSubstituted forKurzawaat 84′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forDraxlerat 61′minutes
  • 27Gueye
  • 6VerrattiSubstituted forParedesat 71′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 19Sarabia
  • 11Di MaríaBooked at 74mins
  • 10NeymarBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 8Paredes
  • 20Kurzawa
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 25Bakker
  • 29Muinga
  • 30Bulka
  • 31Dagba
  • 36Ruiz-Atil

Marseille

  • 30Mandanda
  • 2H SakaiBooked at 7mins
  • 3GonzálezBooked at 50mins
  • 15Caleta-Car
  • 18AmaviBooked at 90mins
  • 21Rongier
  • 4Kamara
  • 22GueyeBooked at 38minsSubstituted forBenedettoat 58′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 26ThauvinSubstituted forGermainat 77′minutes
  • 27LopezBooked at 61minsSubstituted forStrootmanat 68′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10PayetBooked at 11minsSubstituted forRadonjicat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Balerdi
  • 6Strootman
  • 7Radonjic
  • 9Benedetto
  • 16Pelé
  • 23Aké
  • 24Khaoui
  • 25Nagatomo
  • 28Germain

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Injury carnage as Reds into Super final


Dave Rennie’s Wallabies stocks have taken a beating as the Queensland Reds beat the Melbourne Rebels 25-13 to book their spot in the Super Rugby AU final.

Queensland lost Jordan Petaia (concussion) and Chris Feauai-Sautia (groin) while Rebels trio and Australian regulars Dane Haylett-Petty (groin), Matt Toomua (groin) and Jordan Uelese (shoulder) all limped off in the second half.

All would be in the mix to feature in Rennie’s first national squad, due to be named on Sunday ahead of Tests later this year.

The Reds’ backline finished in disarray but they somehow emerged victorious and will play the Brumbies in Canberra next Saturday for the title.

In the end it was hulking prop Taniela Tupou who ran a brilliant line to set up winger Filipo Daugunu for the match-sealing try with five minutes to play.

Centre Petaia looked set for a massive night when he intercepted Toomua’s pass to run 65 metres for the game’s first try.

He fumbled close to the line as a second try went begging and was no sooner on the sidelines after a nasty head clash in a tackle.

Roving winger Marika Koroibete caught the Reds napping to score on halftime for a 10-10 game, before Hunter Paisami broke the line to set up Lukhan Salakaia-Loto for the Reds’ go-ahead try early in the second half.

The Rebels had their chances, Billy Meakes’ forward pass bombing one try and Isi Naisarani charging down a kick but watching the ball cruelly bounce dead.

Andrew Kellaway should have scored the game’s first try but stepped on the line after gathering Toomua’s pin-point cross-field chip.

They also kicked the ball away numerous times when rolling forward in attack in the second half.

Daugunu did his Wallabies aspirations no harm with some terrific defensive efforts, showing his versatility to force a crucial breakdown turnover and nailing another Rebel into touch in cover defence with the game in the balance.





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Ryan Matterson pure class act in distressing Api Koroisau head injury


Rugby league, you magnificent little beauty.

The NRL’s battle of the west was not the scene you’d expect to find one of the most tender acts of the season — but that’s what eels star Ryan Matterson provided on Friday night.

Among the flying spittle and bone-jarring collisions of the Panthers’ demolition job on western Sydney — and top four — rivals Parramatta, Matterson showed why fans keep coming back night after night to the greatest game of all.

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The former Tigers star provided a contender for best moment of the season when he showed pure class in caring for Panthers star Api Koroisau when the Penrith rake suffered a head injury in the second half.

Koroisau appeared to take a hip bone to the head as he dashed in to tackle Eels winger Blake Ferguson — a tackle that saw the Eels handed a penalty for holding on too long.

But, as Eels playmaker Mitchell Moses kicked to touch and the game progressed, Koroisau stayed hunched over on the turf, unable to get to his feet on wobbly legs.

Matterson, who was standing nearby, appeared to be the only person to see Koroisau was in a bad way.

As the former Manly No. 9 tried to get back to his feet and stumbled, Matterson acted quickly to wrap him up in a bear hug to keep him stable.

When Koroisau still tried to re-join the Panthers’ defensive line, Matterson wrapped him up again and waved to the Penrith bench for immediate medical attention.

A trainer was quickly on the spot. He took just a few seconds of looking at Koroisau to know the star rake needed to come from the field immediately.

Koroisau was taken for a HIA test in the 60th minute and did not return.

“Api Koroisau is in huge trouble here,” Fox League commentator Michael Ennis said.

Commentator Andrew Voss was blown away by the classy gesture.

“Matterson knows all about concussions and he’s helping Api there, the keep him on his feet,” he said.

“And this is something we highlighted before, this is a huge game. Everything at stake, and there’s the sportsmanship in the great game of rugby league right there.

“That’s some moment, Matterson coming to the aid of Api Koroisau.”

The NRL Physio was also impressed.

“Fantastic from Ryan Matterson, showing care for an opposition player (Koroisau) who was clearly affected by a blow to the head,” he posted on Twitter.

“Such a positive gesture for player safety from a guy who has a complex history with concussion himself. Hope Koroisau is OK.”

It was enough for even disgruntled Tigers fans — still filthy at the circumstances of Matterson walking out on the club to join Parramatta — to find some affection for the star forward. Almost.

RELATED: Eels in deep trouble after nightmare loss

It comes just two weeks after the Wests Tigers also showed the Panthers some love with another display of sportsmanship when Penrith forward Isaah Yeo also looked on the verge of collapsing following a head knock.

Eight minutes into the second half of the Panthers’ 30-6 win, Penrith back-rower Yeo reeled out of a tackle when his head made nasty contact with the shoulder of Tigers forward Matt Eisenhuth.

Yeo hit the ground immediately and referee Ben Cummins, noticing he was in a bad way, stopped play after the tackle was completed by a couple of his teammates.

Yeo tried to stand up but stumbled backwards, looking like he might hit the deck again. Fortunately, players from both sides rushed in to help the big man.

Eisenhuth and Tigers centre Moses Mbye were two of the quickest to react, running towards Yeo to grab him and hold him up. Tigers bench forward Elijah Taylor was another who helped out, as well as Penrith second-rower Liam Martin.

Even Cummins made a move to support the wounded Panther as the whistleblower looked ready to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Rugby league — the greatest game of all.



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