WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Mikaele Ravalawa of the Dragons looks on during the NRL trail match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The St George Illawarra Dragons are set to be without winger Mikaele Ravalawa for a number of weeks after the Fijian international went down without contact in the 57th minute of the Red V’s 32-18 loss to the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday.

In just his third game back from a previous hamstring injury, Ravalawa collapsed while pursuing Ezra Mam to the line for Brisbane’s fifth try.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin admitted in the post-match press conference that it was a hamstring tear but couldn’t advise how severe it was.

“The way it looked, it wasn’t too good,” the coach said.

On Twitter, NRL Physio echoed Griffin’s sentiments, claiming the ‘shot by a sniper’ non-contact nature of the injury was likely to lead to a multi-week absence.

After three seasons of strong performances, 2022 has been tough for Ravalawa. Despite the double-digit try tallies in his previous campaigns, in 2022 he’s scored just five tries in 14 appearances.

Further, those five tries have come in just two games – a Round 1 hat-trick against the New Zealand Warriors and a double in his Round 15 return from injury against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Dragons fans can at least take comfort in the fact the team has a wealth of replacements at their disposal for next week’s pivotal clash against the Sydney Roosters.

NRL journeyman Tautau Moga filled in admirably during Ravalawa’s most recent absence. The Red V also have 29-year-old rookie Jonathon Reuben, as well as Max Feagai – twin brother of fellow Dragon Mat – ready for his first taste of NRL in 2022.

Ravalawa’s injury comes at a bad time for the Dragons, who are struggling for consistency as they try to hang on to a finals place. The Round 17 loss has bumped them out of the Top 8 for the first time this season.