Casualty Ward: Staggs out of Origin contention


The NSWRL will keep Blues fans up to date this season with all the injury and suspension news for NSW players, including Emerging and Future Blues, from the NRL this season. Check Casualty Ward for regular updates.

Round 20 - Kotoni Staggs

NSW Blues hopeful and Brisbane Broncos star Kotoni Staggs ruptured his ACL ligament in last night’s 32-16 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys, with the club confirming the injury today. 
It was the first time Staggs had been named at five-eighth and he looked comfortable in the position until going down in the 11th minute clutching his knee after an innocuous tackle attempt.
Broncos Head of Performance Paul Devlin said the extent of the injury was confirmed following an MRI scan today.
“Kotoni will meet with the surgeon before having reconstructive surgery of his knee,” Devlin explained. 
Staggs was one of the players tipped to be named in Brad Fittler’s 27-man Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues squad for the State of Origin series in November after his impressive performances at centre for the Broncos. 
The 21-year-old has been Brisbane’s most dangerous attacking player this season, producing ten tries, 12 line breaks and a massive 46 tackle breaks and was part of an extended Blues squad last year.

Round 18 - Boyd Cordner

Roosters captain Boyd Cordner was taken off in the 25th minute in their match against the Newcastle Knights at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday night following another head knock and did not play the rest of the game. 
Cordner attempted to score off a grubber kick by grounding the ball in goal but missed the ball and his head hit the ground awkwardly. 
The Roosters decided to err on the side of caution as Cordner has been sidelined for six weeks this season after two separate head knocks. 
He was also dealing with the heartbreaking news of the passing of his cousin Joel Dark.
"The assessment was really good, he answered questions really well, he was quite clear," said Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
"But the week that he's had … that was a really smart call just to say 'just take a breath and don't go back on’.
"That's really good work from the doctor and obviously Boyd to understand that. It's incredibly tough for him with Joel, his family and the extended family.”​

Round 16 - Latrell Mitchell

Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell had scans on his injured hamstring sustained in the South Sydney Rabbitohs 38-0 flogging of the Parramatta Eels. 

Mitchell has ruptured the proximal hamstring tendon in his left leg. He will be assessed by a surgeon with a view to repairing the tendon.

Mitchell will be unfit for the remainder of the 2020 season.

Round 14 – Luke Keary, Boyd Cordner

Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary will be sidelined for up to three weeks with a broken rib after being crunched in a heavy tackle during Thursday night’s loss to Melbourne Storm at the SCG.

Keary suffered the injury in the first half after being hit by Storm centre Brenko Lee and spent the halftime break receiving treatment for it.

He tried to continue in the second half before leaving the field in agony. He was treated in the dressing room by paramedics before an ambulance was called over fears he had internal bleeding.

“Yeah he’s not great, he’s quite sore,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.

“He’s pretty painful, it’s something internal, we thought rib.”

The Roosters No.6 was later discharged from St Vincent’s Hospital after scans cleared him of internal injuries but confirmed he had broken a rib in two places.

Keary has been in the frame for a maiden NSW jumper for the past few seasons but has had terrible luck with injuries.

Robinson also provided an update on the recovery time of injured captain Boyd Cordner, saying the club will take a similar approach to that of five-eighth Luke Keary when he sustained a serious head injury last year. 

Cordner has suffered a series of concussion injuries since the resumption of the 2020 NRL season and has been sidelined for the last three weeks with the Roosters closely monitoring his recovery. 

Keary missed six weeks of the 2019 campaign due to repeated head knocks and Robinson admitted the back-to-back premiers will give Cordner an almost identical timeframe to recover before he returns to play.

"That's why we're taking our time (with his recovery), because we don't want it to be ongoing," Robinson said.

"I guess we had the experience of Luke Keary last year and you can see how Luke is playing (now)...and we have made a decision to take the (same) six weeks that we did with Luke last year.

"So that will be another couple of weeks out, from the expert advice we have been getting, we feel that is the right length."

Cordner was a late withdrawal from the Roosters Round 11 clash with the Warriors after he endured a heavy concussion in the Captain's Run, and was previously forced from the field when he sustained a nasty head knock in their extra-time loss to the Melbourne Storm in Round 9.

He is expected to be sidelined for another three games which will see the Australian and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues skipper return for his side's Grand Final rematch against the Raiders in Round 17.

Round 13 – Tariq Sims

St George Illawarra Dragons enforce Tariq Sims is at risk of missing the remainder of the 2020 NRL season with the representative star expected to miss six weeks after suffering a high grade AC joint injury.

Sims left the field in the first-half of his side's 24-16 loss to the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night and failed to return. 

He is expected to be sidelined for an extended period, however, an early return remains possible.

Round 12 - Bradman Best, Curtis Sironen

Newcastle could be without teenage sensation Bradman Best for Saturday’s crunch match against Wests Tigers after he injured his ankle against Melbourne Storm.

Best, who has been part of the NSW pathways system, has been a revelation this season and started the match against the Storm in strong fashion after scoring a try at the six minute mark.

Unfortunately, he injured his ankle later in the game and had little impact after remaining on the field in the hope the injury would improve.

“He spent the whole second half hobbling, hoping it would get going," Knights coach Adam O'Brien said. “It’s not looking great.”

Manly backrower Curtis Sironen remains a chance to face the Warriors on Friday night after leaving the field with a knee injury during Saturday night’s loss to Penrith.

Sironen, who was part of the extended Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues squad that attended a camp at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence last year, has had a history of knee problems but coach Des Hasler downplayed any suggestions of another serious injury after the game.

The news was not so good for Sea Eagles teammate Dylan Walker who is looking at another six weeks on the sideline after fracturing his foot against the Panthers. Walker was making his return from a fractured foot and suffered the latest injury in a different spot.

Round 11 - Boyd Cordner, Ryan Matterson

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has expressed concern for the health of his skipper Boyd Cordner after he was a late withdrawal from yesterday’s win over the Warriors at Central Coast Stadium.

The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues captain suffered a head knock during the Captain’s Run on Friday and was ruled out after waking up with a persistent headache on the day of the match.

“We have to look after him,” Robinson said.

We won’t be taking any undue risks there. We got some tests last night, which were clear, which is good, and it’s about recovering and getting better.

“It was incidental stuff, it wasn’t a heavy contact session, (but) it is a bit of a worry.

“We’ve just got to make sure he wakes up tomorrow without any issues and then get about the process of what we need to do.”

It is the second time this season Cordner has been stood down for a concussion-related injury after he was taken from the field against Melbourne and missed the following week’s game against North Queensland.

Cordner is a true warrior who always puts his body on the line whenever he plays for his club, his state or his country but Robinson recently said they will make decisions for him over his health because he “treats himself with disdain.”

Cordner wasn’t the only player to suffer a head knock this round after Parramatta backrower Ryan Matterson lasted only a matter of minutes against his former club Wests Tigers before he left the field.

Matterson reeled out of an attempted tackle on Tigers prop Russell Packer and landed flat on his back before trying to get to his feet and being held up by Eels teammate Blake Ferguson. He will need to pass concussion protocols to play against the Bulldogs next round.

Round 10 – James Roberts, Angus Crichton, Brett Morris

South Sydney Rabbitohs have suffered a significant blow following news centre James Roberts will miss the next 12 weeks after rupturing his right pectoral muscle against the Newcastle Knights last Saturday night.

The Rabbitohs website has reported that Roberts has been booked in to have surgery later this week but he is still a chance to return this season depending how far they go into the finals.

Sydney Roosters in-form backrower Angus Crichton suffered a medial knee ligament injury during the loss to Canberra Raiders last Thursday night.

Crichton left the field midway through the second half with an MRI later confirming he had suffered a moderate injury for which he has already started rehabilitation.

In better news for the club, winger Brett Morris has been cleared of a serious jaw injury following an incident in the second half.

Round 9 - Daniel Saifiti, Brett Morris

Newcastle Knights and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues enforcer Daniel Saifiti is facing time on the sidelines after suffering a suspected PCL injury in his side's 10-4 loss to the Parramatta Eels on Sunday.

Saifiti managed to just play 38 minutes in the Round 9 clash at McDonald Jones Stadium with scans on Monday to reveal the full extent of the injury.

“Daniel is the one we’re concerned about,” coach Adam O’Brien said.

“Early diagnosis is PCL…I think that’s better than the others (ACL and MCL).

“(He’ll be out for) couple of weeks I think.”

Meanwhile, Sydney Roosters winger Brett Morris has received promising news after he was cleared of a serious groin injury.

The True Blue was a late withdrawal from his side's match against the North Queensland Cowboys on Thursday night after experiencing groin tightness in the pre-game warm up.

It is uncertain whether he will face the Canberra Raiders in a blockbuster Grand Final rematch on Thursday. 

Round 8 - Boyd Cordner, Daniel Tupou

Sydney Roosters and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues captain Boyd Cordner left the field after suffering a nasty head knock during last Thursday night’s golden point loss to Melbourne Storm.

He will be monitored throughout the week and will have to pass HIA protocols to take his place in the team for Thursday’s match against North Queensland in Townsville.

Roosters winger Daniel Tupou is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines after suffering a syndesmosis injury in the loss to Melbourne.

Tupou, who played four games for NSW in 2014-15, has been in great form for the premiers this season and reportedly underwent surgery on Saturday.

Penrith Panthers winger Brian To’o, who has been through the NSWRL pathways system, injured his ankle against Wests Tigers and will have scans to determine the extent of the damage.

Another NSWRL pathways player, Canberra Raiders prop Emre Guler, is also having scans for an ankle injury he sustained during the club’s win over St George Illawarra Dragons.

Round 7 - Victor Radley, Mitchell Moses

Parramatta halfback Mitchell Moses could be facing an extended stint on the sidelines after tearing his calf in the Eels’ 25-24 golden point win over Canberra on Saturday night.

Moses could be seen signalling for the trainer as he tried to move back with the defensive line and was treated on the field before leaving the game in the 34th minute.

Eels coach Brad Arthur said Moses would get scans to determine the extent of the injury but there has been speculation he could be sidelined for up to six weeks.

“It’s his calf, I don’t know, he’ll have to get scans and all that but he’ll be out for a bit,” Arthur said.

“He had a bit of a calf complaint in that COVID period and it’s just what it is.”

Moses has been part of the extended Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues squads conducted by coach Brad Fittler and is a contender to play in the halves for the end of season State of Origin series.

The season is over for Victor Radley after the Sydney Roosters enforcer suffered a season-ending knee injury during his side’s gutsy 26-12 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons on Friday night.

Radley lasted only eight minutes before dropping to the ground in agony and clutching his leg after he had rushed out of the line to put a shot on Dragons winger Jason Saab.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson confirmed after the match that Radley had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and would miss the rest of the season.

It is a bitter blow for the Roosters lock who has been in scintillating form since the NRL season restarted and he was in contention for a maiden Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues jumper at the end of the season.

The Roosters also lost backup hooker Sam Verrills to a season-ending knee injury within 15 minutes of Radley leaving the field. Verrills was a standout for the NSW Under 20s team which beat Queensland last season.

“It’s really sombre in there (the dressing room),” Robinson said. “They’re a really tight bunch so to see two young guys with a really bright future out for the season is tough.”

Round 6 - Tom Trbojevic 

Manly Sea Eagles star fullback Tom Trbojevic could be sidelined for longer than expected after he underwent scans for his most recent hamstring injury on Monday night, telling the Sydney Morning Herald his recovery time was "six to eight weeks". 

"There wasn't a 'pop', but I felt it go straight away,'' Trbojevic said. 

"It was the same as the other ones, except this time it's a bit lower. I've done that much work on the hammy, it'd be the strongest it's ever been, so we don't know what's going on. It's bloody frustrating." 

Roosters fullback James Tedesco seemed to have recovered well from a huge head knock that forced him to leave the field against the Parramatta Eels on Saturday. 

Round 5 - Kotoni Staggs, Curtis Sironen

Powerhouse Brisbane Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs could be facing anywhere from four to six weeks on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring at training on Sunday.

Staggs had a MRI scan yesterday which revealed no tendon damage but a standard Grade 2 injury. He started his rehabilitation program yesterday and will commence his return to run program before the end of the week.

Staggs was part of Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler’s extended squad in December and has started this year in strong fashion after scoring five tries.

Manly second-rower Curtis Sironen missed last Thursday night’s win over the Brisbane Broncos with bone bruising on his knee but the Sea Eagles will give him every chance to return and face the Canberra Raiders on Sunday.

Round 4 - Tariq Sims, Victor Radley

The struggling Dragons have been dealt a further blow with strike back-rower Tariq Sims not named in the Round 5 team after sustaining a wrist injury against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. 

Sims will miss four to six weeks. 

Victor Radley was taken off the field when his arm was caught in an awkward Anthony Milford tackle against the Brisbane Broncos in Round 4. 

Radley did not return to the field and sat on the bench with ice on his elbow.

He confirmed in the post match interview that he will not miss any weeks. 

Round 3 - Connor Watson, Mitchell Pearce

An ankle injury sustained against the Penrith Panthers saw Connor Watson leave the field and not return.

Scans confirmed that the dynamite Knight will miss six to eight weeks on the sideline.

The Newcastle Knights have been dealt a cruel blow in their Round 3 clash against the Penrith Panthers with captain Mitchell Pearce leaving in just the fourth minute of play due to a nasty head knock.

Pearce looked dazed when attempting to get to his feet after an attempted tackle that left the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues no.7 groggy.

He failed his HIA assessment and won't return, however, he showed promising signs of recovery in the dressing sheds and played the following game.