Sharks, Cowboys reeling after Origin blows
WADE Graham is facing another stint on the sideline after the Blues back-rower limped from the field of Wednesday night's State of Origin game with a hamstring injury.
Graham is next to no chance of being fit to play in Cameron Smith's 400th match against Melbourne on Saturday after the Sharks co-captain failed to complete the match.
"He did his hamstring," Blues coach Brad Fittler said. "Hopefully it's not too sore."
The Maroons also had a setback of their own with Michael Morgan not returning after a heavy concussion.
But the Graham injury is significant for a Cronulla side who are struggling. This was just Graham's fifth game back this year after a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament ended his 2018.
Just three of those games have been for the Sharks where his starring role earnt him an immediate Origin recall.
The Sharks are already without Paul Gallen for the clash against Melbourne and are clinging on to eighth spot on the competition ladder after a run of horrid form.
Graham spent the entire first half on the sidelines before but lasted just 17 minutes after being injected early in the second half.
The Cowboys will also be without captain Morgan for their game against the Roosters on Sunday. Coming on as a forward utility, Morgan was whacked with friendly fire by Maroons and Cowboys teammate Josh McGuire.
McGuire accidentally elbowed Morgan to the head after just eight minutes into the second half and did not return.
It is the second time Morgan has been concussed in as many games. He was in small doubt for the Origin decider after being dazed for the Cowboys against St George Illawarra in his last match. It was a tackle which ruled Tariq Sims out of the Origin for the Blues after Sims was suspended for a game for his late tackle.
"He thinks we have won," Maroons coach Kevin Walters said. "He is OK. That as a big moment for us when we lost him. The way we were using him in that second half he was going to be vital.
"He is fine. He is good."
Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary missed six weeks because of multiple concussions. Roosters players Boyd Cordner and James Tedesco will be rested for their clash against the Cowboys on Sunday.