McGuire out, Scott in doubt for Origin
Josh McGuire is coming to terms with a season-ending Achilles injury that will rule him out of Queensland's Origin III team while Blues coach Laurie Daley will have to check in on the health of Beau Scott's shoulder following a brutal Friday night clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Facing an almighty battle to upset the ladder-leading Broncos, the Knights lost both Robbie Rochow and Beau Scott in the opening 25 minutes while the Broncos were hit by injuries to McGuire, Dale Copley and Darius Boyd that threaten to have wide-ranging ramifications ahead of Origin selection early next week.
McGuire collapsed to the ground in the 58th minute as he set himself in the defensive line and had to be carried from the field, the early diagnosis a ruptured right Achilles that would spell the end of his season.
Scott was forced from the field in just the 14th minute with a shoulder complaint and played no further part in the match and is scheduled to have scans on Saturday to determine the extent of the injury.
The suggestion in the sheds after the game was that he is in severe doubt for the Origin decider back at Suncorp on July 8 but Newcastle coach Rick Stone was unsure as to just how bad it was after the game.
"I think Beau is going to need a scan [on Saturday] to determine the extent of a shoulder injury, not quite sure what that might be. Robbie's off to hospital for an x-ray on a possible broken forearm," Stone said.
The news was more definite on McGuire who will play no further part in Brisbane's premiership push with Broncos coach Wayne Bennett also bringing Boyd off five minutes from full-time with a groin complaint.
"He's done a groin and we don't think it's too serious," said Bennett, who added that he expected his fullback to be fit for Queensland in 12 days time.
"The bottom line is it's a fatigue injury and it's three games in nine days and the speed these games are played out – Origin, a game in Melbourne last Sunday and here tonight – it takes its toll."
The injury to McGuire opens up a spot on the Maroons bench with coach Meninga and selectors now faced with the decision of whether to blood a rookie in a Series decider or opt for a player with Origin experience.
Josh Papalii, Dylan Napa and Korbin Sims have all spent time in Queensland camp over the opening two games but Broncos captain and Maroons veteran Justin Hodges had no qualms endorsing the claims of Napa.
"It's a hard decision, that's why I'm not the coach, but I'm pretty sure if you give him the jersey he'll do his job," Hodges said of the young Roosters hitman.
"He's been a part of Game One when he was 18th man and I'm pretty sure if he gets that opportunity he won't let anyone down. Playing up here, in Brisbane, there's no better feeling when you pull that Queensland jersey on here.
"He's a big lump of a lad and he's a guy that plays with no fear and that's what Origin's all about. He wouldn't be out of place in an Origin jersey for sure."
Having come into an extended Maroons squad for Game Two, Sims also gave Meninga plenty to consider with a barnstorming display that included a try in the 58th minute, 153 running metres and 43 tackles.
Matt Gillett's two-try performance earned him man of the match honours while Corey Parker battled on bravely after copping a heavy knock to the nose early in the game.