NRL Rd 2 - Knights v Wests Tigers
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Jackson Hastings of the Wests Tigers is tackled during the round two NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium, on March 20, 2022, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Fresh from their victory over the Brisbane Broncos that snapped a seven-game losing streak, the Wests Tigers have been dealt a huge blow with the news that star recruit Jackson Hastings could be set for an extended injury lay-off.

The Sydney Morning Herald has confirmed that scans on Hastings leg have revealed a broken fibula. Though Hastings is set to undergo surgery this week, his season is effectively over and his World Cup chances have been dealt a massive blow.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the Tigers, who had emerged from weeks of uncertainty and speculation to earn a win that had them well placed to finish the year strong.

With Luke Brooks also expected to be out for most of what remains of the season, the club has gone from having too many halves and not enough places to looking to lower grades for support.

Hastings’ injury was sustained in a hip-drop tackle from Bronco Patrick Carrigan that has seen him directly referred to the NRL judiciary. Though referees missed the penalty, it was quickly discovered by the Bunker and Carrigan was placed on report as Hastings lay in agonising pain.

Though Carrigan has no prior history of such incidents, the fact he was directly referred means he could face anywhere from 2-5 weeks on the sideline.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters was quick to defend Carrigan’s character in his post-match press conference.

“Knowing Pat, a person of his character, I wouldn’t have thought there was anything intentional there. It’s just the heat of the battle.”

Tigers interim coach Brett Kimmorley was less impressed.

“I thought it was a pretty ordinary tackle,” he said.

“It’s something that’s crept into our game and it needs to be looked after because it’s a horrendous tackle and the outcome can be really bad.”