Wighton, Cotter ruled out


North Queensland Cowboys forward Reuben Cotter being taken off the field after tearing his hamstring during warm-up before the Cowboys’ game against the Eagles on Friday. – Twitterpic

SYDNEY: The New South Wales and Queensland camps were dealt huge blows on Friday with Blues centre Jack Wighton and Maroons lock Reuben Cotter ruled out for State of Origin game two.
Wighton is out of contention for game two after contracting the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Canberra Raiders confirmed on Friday their star five-eighth had Covid-19 and was unavailable during yesterday’s match against the Newcastle Knights.
He will now have to follow return to play protocols once his isolation is completed this week.
Wighton was a standout at left centre for the Blues in game one after scoring the opening try, running for 184 metres, making two line breaks and four tackle busts.
Meanwhile, injured North Queensland and Maroons forward Reuben Cotter has been ruled out, with scans revealing a grade-three hamstring tear.
The Queenslander is set to spend between three to five weeks on the sidelines after picking up the injury while warming up for the Cowboys’ clash with Manly on Friday night. He is now long odds to be fit in time for game three on July 13.
It’s a heartbreaking blow for Cotter, 23, who lit up the park on debut in game one with a stellar display, making 51 tackles and running for 134m playing 80 minutes at lock.
Brisbane’s Patrick Carrigan looms as the most obvious replacement for Cotter, after starring on debut in the series opener with 183m off the pine.
Carrigan was shattered to hear of Cotter’s injury, with the pair long-time friends, and said he would do what he could to cover his absence.
“It’s a massive blow,” he said.
“He’s the best fella ‘Reubs’ and he really put the team first last time and played 80 minutes and had a monster of a game.
“It’s a big loss and it’s definitely going to hurt but Billy (Slater) has driven the next man up mentality so whoever pulls on that Queensland jersey I’m sure they can do the job.”
Carrigan, who also made his debut in Sydney, has averaged 60 minutes a game this season so would have to dig deep to match Cotter’s contribution. – AAP

Revived Parramatta knock Roosters out of top-eight

Parramatta Eels winger Maika Sivo in action against Sydney Roosters centre Joseph Manu during Saturday’s National Rugby League match at Commbank Stadium. The Eels won 26-16. – Eelspic

SYDNEY: The Sydney Roosters’ indifferent season has continued after falling out of the top eight with a 16-26 loss to Parramatta.
Considered a frontrunner for the premiership this season, the Roosters were dismantled in the opening 40 minutes by a slick Eels outfit who bounced back emphatically from last week’s shock loss to Canterbury.
The Roosters, usually renowned for their stoic defence under coach Robinson, have conceded 146 points across their past six games.
Roosters winger Joseph Suallii grabbed a try double to press his claim for a New South Wales berth.
Suallii kickstarted one of the most chaotic opening halves of the season, evading a Maika Sivo tackle to touch down in front of 21,757 fans at Commbank Stadium in the third minute.
The Eels immediately responded with late offloads from back-rower Shaun Lane to send Clint Gutherson and Dylan Brown over for tries, with Isaiah Papali’i also touching down.
Sitili Tupouniua hit back for the Roosters but just before half-time Parramatta went up a gear and Trent Robinson’s men could not go with them.
A try to Sivo, who had earlier sent Joey Manu flying with a one-handed fend, started on the Eels’ left, went through 10 different sets of hands to the right and finished with the big Fijian crashing over on the left-hand edge.
Reed Mahoney further hammered home the Eels advantage to give them a 26-12 lead at the break.
At the start of the second half Suaalii regathered his own chip kick to give hope of a response from the Roosters, but when Egan Butcher was knocked out cold, the fizz went out of the game.
Butcher was taken off the field by a medicab in the 54th minute and neither side scored thereafter.
“We’ve got to have that drive and the killer instinct to play like that every week,” said Eels coach Brad Arthur.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t go to games relying on our talent. We were close to the best version of ourselves tonight and we’ve got to do that every week,” he said after their round-15 win.
Results: Fri, June 17 – Cowboys 28 Eagles 26, Storm 32 Broncos 20; Sat, June 11 – Titans 10 Sharks 18, Panthers 40 Warriors 6, Roosters 16 Eels 26; Sun, June 12 – Raiders 20 Knights, Bulldogs 36 Tigers 12. – Yahoo Sports