Barrett counting cost of injured Eagles
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett's first Downer NRL Auckland Nines campaign is in a state of emergency, with Manly losing two players for the tournament during their 15-12 win over the Warriors.
A high tackle from Warrior Albert Vete left back-rower Jamie Buhrer with a suspected broken jaw while Manly captain Jake Trbojevic was concussed after clashing with the knee of Konrad Hurrell as he attempted to tackle the Tongan international. Nathan Green also left proceedings late with a possible concussion during the second half, but has since been cleared to play on Sunday.
Barrett revealed the Sea Eagles began the tournament with only 17 players after Jorge Taufua was ruled out with a hamstring injury, with young back-rower Dylan Kelly denied a debut Nines start.
"We're down plenty – Jamie Buhrer looks like he has a broken jaw so that's not good. Jake's okay but he suffered a pretty bad concussion so he'll probably be ruled out for [Sunday]," Barrett said.
"It is part of the game I guess but it was a very gutsy effort overall and I'm very proud of them."
Regardless of the injuries suffered so far, Barrett said he was proud of the Sea Eagles' efforts in the tournament.
Before they beat hometown heroes the Warriors, Manly managed a last gasp 11-8 win over the Broncos to all but ensure their place in the quarter finals on Sunday.
"I haven't been too focused on the results I just wanted them to play for each other and they're doing that," Barrett said.
"It definitely gives us something to build on which is probably the most pleasing thing for me – that they care about the results. Tournament aside, the want to win for each other and whatever happens from here I'll be very happy with what I've seen."