BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Ronaldo Mulitalo during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin captain's run at Suncorp Stadium on June 26, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Cronulla Sharks’ winger Ronald Mulitalo is likely facing a season-ending injury, having likely broken his jaw during Saturday’s victory over the Wests Tigers.

Mulitalo played a starring role for the men in black, white and blue, scoring two tries and assisting another as he ran for 165 metres and made six tackle busts.

RONALDO MULITALO
Wing
Sharks
ROUND 23 STATS
2
Tries
165
All Run Metres
5
Tackles Made

The winger copped a stray elbow during the second half of the game as he attempted to prevent a try.

He was immediately taken from the field, and was pictured at the end of the game back on the team’s bench, before going around the ground to lap up the atmosphere with a bag of ice held to his jaw.

Cronulla’s interim coach Josh Hannay, who has confirmed he will move back into an assistant role under incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon in 2022, said Mulitalo had been taken to hospital for scans. It’s understood Cronulla’s medical staff believe he has broken his jaw however.

“We are not sure yet the severity of his injury,” Hannay said.

“He has gone to hospital now to get some scans and we will get to the bottom of it before we get out of here tonight. It’s not looking great, but I can sit here now and tell you exactly what has gone on there.”

If Mulitalo has broken his jaw, then it’s likely the only way he will play again this season is if the Sharks make a deep run into the finals.

It came in a game where the Sharks ran on 50 points to keep their slim finals hopes alive. That battle, which will require victories in their last two games against both the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm, has just become a whole lot tougher though.

Mulitalo, who was selected for Queensland to play State of Origin this year before being ruled ineligible, has been something of a shining light for the Sharks this season, with ten tries now recorded to his name in 16 appearances.

Should Mulitalo be ruled out, Hannay may elect to push Connor Tracey out to the wing and bring Will Chambers back into the side, or leave Tracey in his centre position and play Mawene Hiroti out wide.

Cronulla’s team to play Brisbane in Round 24 will be announced at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon.