Five players will race the clock to be fit for the opening week of the NRL finals after a costly derby between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters at the new Sydney Football Stadium on Friday evening.
The Rabbitohs are facing a pair of concussion issues, after Cameron Murray lasted just two plays in the game, and Siliva Havili was eventually ruled out on his second head injury assessment of the evening.
Murray's event was given a Category 1 rating by the independent doctor in the bunker, meaning even if he passed his test, he would have been unable to return.
The South Sydney lock's head made damaging contact with Kevin Naiqama's hip just 20 seconds into the game.
Murray said post game however that he didn't think it was all that bad.
“I don’t think it was a KO, I think that unfortunately I got my timing wrong there and it was lucky it wasn’t too bad a knock," he said.
"It was a Category 1 so I wasn’t able to go back on but I will rest and go through the protocols this week, but I should be okay. It just depends how I feel, there is no point stressing, we will just see what happens."
His likely replacement for an elimination final if he can't pass concussion protocols, once again to be against the Roosters and likely next Sunday, Siliva Havili, also failed to finish the game after a second HIA.
It was the Roosters who have the most cause for concern though.
The Roosters described Waerea-Hargreaves' injury as "tightness" during the game and seemingly were unwilling to risk him going back onto the field.
Manu's injury, on the other hand, looked severe and it has been reported that he has damaged his calf.
Roosters' coach Trent Robinson suggested the injury wasn't an Achilles as was feared given the non-contact nature of the injury.
"He obviously hurt his calf and it was pretty clear that he had to come off so it doesn't look great," Robinson said.
Joey Manu off with what appeared to be a R calf issue, has been dealing with ongoing calf problems for several weeks. Was even word he was a consideration for a rest this game due to calf tightness. Have to hope more cramp vs strain but will need some luck. In doubt for next week pic.twitter.com/1OIVMq1mad
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) September 2, 2022
It's understood Manu is unlikely to play next week, even if the Roosters and Rabbitohs are afforded the eight-day turnaround that currently seems to be in the pipeline, with finals fixtures to be confirmed on Sunday evening by the NRL.
Should he be out, then Oliver Gildart would likely be promoted to the starting side for the match.