Braith Anasta believes NRL title dreams are over for the Sydney Roosters with star halfback Luke Keary expected to be ruled out for the season with an ACL injury. Almost half of the Roosters side are set to be sidelined next week after the club was plunged deeper into an injury crisis in Friday’s 26-16 defeat to South Sydney.
The loss of the NSW Origin star Keary is the third high-profile casualty at the Bondi club already this season, with co-captains Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner sidelined for concussion concerns. Compounding the bad news is a suspected MCL injury for five-eighth Lachlan Lam, while Lindsay Collins was prone after a sickening but accidental collision with a teammate’s elbow.
Former Roosters half Anasta believes the loss of Keary as pilot to the attack is too big a hurdle for them to overcome in their bid for the 2021 premiership. “I think with Keary gone, the Roosters can’t win the comp. I really believe that,” he told Fox Sports on Friday night.
“It was all on him. He was the chief playmaker and chief half, No.7 Lachlan Lam was just a supporter, really, and whoever was going to play with Keary was just going to play the supporting role.
“Now they’ve got to remodel and look at their side. They’ve got to bring some young players in.
“Any way you look at it, this injury right here and this result tonight, it’s catastrophic. Not only season-ending for Keary but for the chances of the Roosters winning the premiership.”
Keary will get scans to confirm the injury but immediate testing by medical staff is usually accurate in diagnosing ACL injuries.
While it was the worst possible news for Keary, Queensland prop Collins is understood to have been walking around and talking in the sheds after the game at Stadium Australia. He was taken to hospital as a precaution after he was knocked out in friendly fire.
Keary, Lam and Collins have all added to a growing injury toll for the Roosters who could be missing half of their squad for Sunday’s Warriors clash, with Cordner, Friend, Sam Verrills and Adam Keighran all sidelined.
In addition, prop Daniel Suluka-Fifita has also been banned for one match for punching Souths’ Jai Arrow.
In one of the few bits of good news, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves avoided a charge for his high shot on Latrell Mitchell.
Coach Trent Robinson is likely to call on teen star Sam Walker to move into the halves, while Drew Hutchison is also an option to fill in over the coming weeks until Lam returns.