SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Dale Finucane of the Sharks in action during the NRL Trial Match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canterbury Bulldogs at PointsBet Stadium on February 28, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

While their Round 6 results varied between a handy home win and a reality check on the road, both the Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks will head into their Round 7 clash with hampered rosters.

Despite proving able to take care of the travelling Titans at Brookvale on Saturday afternoon, Des Hasler's side was hit with a pair of injury concerns before the final hooter sounded on their 26-18 win.

Following separate collisions, Manly's prop pair Sean Keppie and Josh Aloiai were brought from the field after sustaining collision-based injuries.

Aloiai was able to return to the action after half-time following suggestions that the 26-year-old's shoulder injury was not as bad as first feared.

However, secondary reports from The West Australian claim that the Samoan international's AC joint was loaded full of pain-killing injections and that there now remains serious doubt about whether he will be fit to face the Sharks next Thursday.

Given Keppie found his way to the sidelines late on in the arms of the trainers, it appears close to certain that the New South Welshman will also miss out on the trip to Shark Park next week.

While these pair of hits would likely have usually had Sharks fans and officials breathing a sigh of relief, with Dale Finucane and Braden Hamlin-Uele all but certain to miss the fixture as well, the ledger is, once again, close to being square.

Finucane's homecoming in Melbourne was short-lived, with the veteran forced from the field after displaying category 1 concussion symptoms following a clash with his ex-teammate, Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

Taking into account the 30-year-old's history of concussions, head coach Craig Fitzgibbon will now be forced to look elsewhere for reinforcements.

But with fellow forward Hamlin-Uele purported to have torn his pectoral muscle, the Auckland-born bruiser is sure to be strapped to the sidelines for a lengthy stint.

Fitzgibbon's selection dilemmas have been compounded by both the brief five-day turnaround between fixtures and the fact that Briton Nikora will still be serving his mandatory isolation period after contracting Covid-19.

Kick-off in the Sea Eagles and Sharks clash is currently scheduled for 7:50 pm AEST on Thursday night at Shark Park.


  1. This is a real opportunity for the Sharks to show whether they have adequate depth to be genuine contenders.

    Royce Hunt and Franklin Pele are the next two props in the squad. This is the opportunity to see whether or not they are worth re-signing at the end of the season.

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