Raiders winger out hurt after apparent shoulder charge.Blake Ferguson’s season looks set to go from bad to worse with news the Canberra Raiders winger could require surgery to fix a fractured cheekbone.
Ferguson had just returned to the top grade after being suspended by the club for breaking its alcohol policy, with the incident leading to the Raiders tearing up Josh Dugan’s contract.
The injury occurred during the Raiders loss to the Newcastle last round when Knights hooker Danny Buderus appeared to hit Ferguson high with a shoulder charge, which has been outlawed from this season.
Canberra officials were left frustrated the incident did not see the Newcastle veteran penalised or put on report, especially given the damage it has done to Ferguson.
Ferguson is replaced at centre by Jack Wighton, with Edrick Lee coming into the side on the wing. Matt McIlwrick comes onto the bench for Shaun Berrigan (dropped) and will play back-up hooker.
Wighton (wrist), Glen Buttriss (shoulder) and Sandor Earl (hamstring) will be monitored this week ahead of their class with the Sydney Roosters this week.
After their 50-0 mauling of Parrramatta last round, Roosters coach Trent Robinson has made minimal changes, however, Frank-Paul Nuuausala (knee, indefinite) is out, with Aidan Guerra and Luke O’Donnell, who is returning from suspension, coming into an extended squad.
Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Edrick Lee, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Matt McIlwrick, Joel Edwards, Dane Tilse, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Anthony Milford (one to be omitted).
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Mitchell Aubusson, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Martin Kennedy, Isaac Liu, Aidan Guerra, Luke O’Donnell