August 23, 2019
Sports

Tigers’ finals hopes in tatters as Sea Eagles continue top-four push

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Manly have set up a top-four shootout against Canberra while there were fears Robbie Farah's replacement may have ruptured his ACL.

The Sea Eagles leapfrogged the Rabbitohs into fourth spot thanks to a 32-12 victory.

Skipper Daly Cherry-Evans set up two tries for Jack Gosiewski, Tom Trbojevic ran for a whopping 250m and was a constant threat, while rampaging prop Addin Fonua-Blake scored a try two minutes from full-time to spark wild celebrations among the vocal 8512 crowd.

Manly coach Des Hasler has done a brilliant job in his Sea Eagles' second coming. They are the real deal. But Hasler will get a much better idea of just how good this lot are over the next three weeks with games against heavyweights the Raiders, Melbourne and Parramatta.

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While Hasler can dare to dream about the top-four finish – and the all-important second life during the finals – Wests Tigers opposite Michael Maguire will be sweating on his team just making the eight.

And to make matters worse, Maguire was forced to watch Farah's long-term dummy-half replacement Jacob Liddle suffer what appeared to be a serious knee injury in only the sixth minute.

Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle suffered a suspected ACL tear on Thursday night.

Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle suffered a suspected ACL tear on Thursday night.Credit:NRL Photos

With first-choice No.9 Farah on crutches watching from the stands – and no guarantee to to return before the end of the season – Liddle appeared in a world of pain as he was accidentally side-swiped by Tigers debutant Tommy Talau.

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"It's not looking great at the moment unfortunately, I really feel for 'Lids', he's faced a bit of adversity [with his shoulders] and from what the doctors seem to think it could be an ACL, so it could be a big one,'' Maguire said.

There were fears Liddle, playing just his 10th game this season after a history of shoulder problems, may have also ruptured other ligaments.

The likely option will be to bring back unwanted big-money utility Josh Reynolds for next Saturday's clash against Newcastle at Campbelltown.

"We'll have a look at that, yeah,' 'Maguire said of Reynolds.

Halfback Luke Brooks dropped the knee into Gosiewski after a tackle had been completed in the eighth minute and will be hoping he avoids any charges and is free to take on Newcastle in the must-win clash.

Hasler said of his Sea Eagles: "It was a grinding kind of game. They [the Tigers] did well, they came here with a plan to try and spoil the ruck and slow the play-the-balls as much as they could.

"You always run the gauntlet with penalties [when you do that]. We should have capitalised on that a bit more. We treated possession a little bit scarcely in the first half.''

Hasler did ask the question about play being stopped when players went down injured. There was no suggestion from Hasler Liddle had stayed down given the seriousness of his iRead More – Source

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