Manly Sea Eagles star the first big name casualty of the season.
The early-season news for the Manly Sea Eagles looks set to go from bad to worse with their star fullback Brett Stewart out for a month with a hamstring injury.
After giving up a 20-point lead, the first time they had ever done that at Brookevale Oval, to loss against the Melbourne Storm, Stewart will be out of action for up to a month.
He will miss the blockbuster clash with surprise early season leaders the Parramatta Eels at Brookvale Oval, however, what he means to the Sea Eagles was never more evident that in the second half against the Storm.
With a 20-4 lead at the break, Manly coaches elected not to risk any further damage to Stewart’s injury and did not send him back onto the field after half-time.
It is understood that Stewart was not even able to drive himself home after the match.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey said they had themselves to blame for the loss, saying a lack of discipline with the ball gave the Storm too many chances to overhaul the lead they had created in a sizzling first half performance.
“Five straight penalties and the momentum swung,’’ Toovey said.
“We will asses the game after looking at the video. We made a couple of silly errors.
“At the end when we had a chance to win but we made some poor decisions and mistakes. They were uncharacteristic mistakes. But we will lick our wounds and get up for Souths. They are on a high at the moment.
“It is a short turnaround for us and it will be another tough game. But we will bounce back.’’
Toovey refused to speculate on the length Stewart will be out of action, saying the fullback will go for scans as soon as possible.