Mannah has faith in Eels' depth
Tim Mannah isn't used to long stints on the sidelines, but after fracturing his left scapula against the Tigers on Easter Monday, he doesn't have much choice.
The Eels club captain has never missed more than two games in a season since debuting in Round 1, 2009, but sees his three week lay-off as a blessing given the injury could have been a whole lot worse.
"That's really good news considering if I was to tear a ligament or do the [rotator] cuff, we'd be looking at six months of the season. I guess if you compare it to that, then three weeks, I'll take it," Mannah said.
"I felt it when I did it straightaway. It was real sore and real painful. It's still really painful but they reckon it'll settle down soon.
"No one wants to miss any games, so that's a bit frustrating, especially when we're going so well and enjoying it. I'm happy to get it right and come back into a team that's going well."
Mannah's absence has opened the door for Peni Terepo to break back into the 17 – who himself is returning from injury. The loss of the former State of Origin representative might have tested the Eels in years gone by, but not in 2016.
"I think we've got some great depth. You look at our team and it doesn't really change too much," the 28-year-old said.
"Peni Terepo is back from injury, so he slots straight back in. The depth we have in this squad is really healthy; not only in the forwards but across the park. Anyone that goes down is pretty well covered by someone who can do a great job in their place."
Fellow Eels forward David Gower admitted he'd love to have Mannah alongside him on the field, but says he and his teammates are embracing the challenge of taking on the increased workload.
"Tim's a big loss for us, there's no doubt about that. But in saying that, Peni Terepo will come in and hopefully we can pick up the slack," he said.
"There's a lot of extra work for the boys in the middle, but that's one thing that's massive at our club is our depth, and we're very confident that whoever comes in is going to do a job."