A dirty act by Parramatta five-eighth Dylan Brown will not only cost Drew Hutchison the next six weeks on the sidelines, but potentially cost him heavily monetarily.
Drew Hutchison was called upon by the Sydney Roosters after starting five-eighth Luke Keary suffered a season-ending ACL injury. A no fuss no nonsense player, Hutchison was starting to put a body of work together to prove the league that he is more than just a backup.
It could not have come at a more important time for the 26-year-old, who's contracted until the end of the season, and needed games to prove himself worthy of another past 2021.
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But unfortunately, a cheap shot from Brown as Hutchison crossed for a try on Friday night has seen the Roosters' Mr. Reliable spend 48 hours in hospital with two broken ribs and a punctured lung.
👉Suspected fractured ribs & punctured lung for Hutchinson...
👉Marata Niukore on report for the high-shot on Teddy 😬 #NRLEelsRoosters pic.twitter.com/5sLrHTrYAB
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) May 7, 2021
The Daily Telegraph's Phil Rothfield believes that Brown has cost Hutchison dearly, not for the six weeks on the sidelines but for his potential financial future in the form of a new contract.
"That’s what makes the injury at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night so costly." Rothfield wrote for the Daily Telegraph.
"The remainder of the season was to be his shop-window opportunity. The chance to show Trent Robinson and rival coaches that he’s not just a back-up five-eighth for when a superstar like Luke Keary suffers a season-ending ACL injury."
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Prior to his injury, the Roosters were relying on the five-eighth as a steady presence within the squad. It's an attribute that Roosters coach Trent Robinson has really leant on with the absence of other on-field leaders.
“He’s one of those old heads that brings a calmness to the team,” Robinson said. “He’s got a steady hand, he knows footy well and he’s a very intelligent player. Not flashy but he knows his role well.”
Post-game however, Robinson was vocal about how he thought the situation was handled. "It's ridiculous, it's incompetent to not see that." Robinson said.
"The guy goes to hospital and then 20 minutes later you put him [the opponent] on report? It's ridiculous."
With 16 rounds of the NRL season remaining, there is hopes that Hutchison will be able to return to the field and still be able to play his way into a contract, but the cheap shot has cost him crucial opportunities to build a portfolio of play.
Brown has been offered a three week ban for the play, which will see him miss crucial clashes against the Warriors, Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs.