Lussick hurts ankle in Sea Eagles loss
Manly were left with concerns over Darcy Lussick after he was forced off the field in their trial match against the Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Lussick's debut as captain for the Sea Eagles was an unhappy one for the player and the club, who lost 30-14.
Trials are a necessary evil I suppose. I'm just disappointed for Darcy.Trent Barrett
Cronulla ran in six tries to three but for Manly the big concern from the match was the injury to rugged prop Lussick.
Coach Trent Barrett is almost certain to be without Lussick for the opening round against Newcastle Knights on 9th March.
The 28-year-old was making his first hit-up in just the second minute of the match but as he was put on the ground in what appeared to be a routine tackle, he writhed in pain grabbing his left ankle.
Barrett said after the game: "We're still waiting to see how bad it is but it doesn't look particularly good at this stage, which is a shame for Darcy.
"He's had a good pre-season and it was the first tackle of the game. We'll cross our fingers and hope he's alright. Trials are a necessary evil I suppose. I'm just disappointed for Darcy."
Lussick had been handed the captaincy in the absence of skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, who was rested along with players involved in last year's World Cup.
Fellow forward Frank Winterstein said of Lussick, who missed the first five rounds of last year with a wrist problem: "It was pretty upsetting from a teammate's point of view, the moment he got that injury. He'll have scans now and all the boys will rally behind him."
Barrett felt the performance was a mixed bag. "I was happy with some individuals scattered through the side. It was a bit of a disjointed trial I suppose as we had so many blokes in different positions," said the coach.
"I thought Addin Fonua-Blake and Brian Kelly and Kelepi Tanginoa were really good. (Frank) Winterstein and Laney (Shaun Lane) were also good. So these were guys who featured fairly heavily in our first-grade side last year, they got some good minutes out tonight. They'll be better for it."
Manly are 20/1 to win the grand final.
The Sea Eagles are 9/10 to finish in the top eight.
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