Auckland Nines casualty ward: Day 1
The injury news to come from day one of the 2017 Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
The Rabbitohs were dealt a blow with outside back Aaron Gray helped from the field in the first half of their opening pool game against the Raiders. The club confirmed via Twitter that Gray has sustained a medial ligament injury, and it appears his tournament is over.
Nines skipper Bryson Goodwin was visibly upset for his teammate but said Gray would come back bigger and stronger when fit.
"It's a big blow. He finished the season really well last year. The poor fella had a few injuries last year and all the boys feel sorry for him but he'll come back," Goodwin said.
"He was training really well. He would have been in the starting side somewhere so I feel sorry for him."
Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson didn't play at all on Saturday after picking up an injury in the warm-up. His availability for tomorrow remains unclear.
"We're hopeful that with treatment tonight he might be able to play tomorrow. He has a bit of tightness in the groin area so the doctors and physios are looking after him," Warriors assistant coach Steve McNamara said after the game.
"He felt it as we were warming up so we decided not to take the risk with him.
"I'm not really sure [whether he'll play tomorrow]. I've stayed away from that so the doctors and the physios are working hard and hopefully we can get a positive result with that."
Matt Dufty told NRL.com he injured his knee during the second-half of his side's loss to the Sea Eagles.
"I hurt my knee in the backend of that game. I think I hyperextended it but it's not too serious. I don't think I'll need scans. It's a bit sore but I should be right for tomorrow."
Teammate Patrick Herbert left Eden Park in a moonboot after picking up a foot injury against the Eels.
Cowboys speedster Justin O'Neill was in the wars during North Queensland's first-up win over the Roosters but told NRL.com he had pulled up fine despite picking up a leg knock and then a badly-bleeding nose.
"It was just a little hit across the nose and it opened up but it's all good. I copped a little bit of a bump when I hit the ground for our first try but I'll be sweet."
Teammate Johnathan Thurston was on the receiving end of a monster shot from Rooster Paul Carter, and while he emerged after the game with an ice pack on his hand, he confirmed it was simply precautionary.
"He didn't miss. I just got winded but it's alright though. It's footy," he said.
"It's (my hand) alright. I just got a whack to it but nothing serious."
Dylan Walker missed his side's second pool game against the Dragons with a corked thigh but says he will play on Sunday.
"It's just a cork to my calf. There were a couple of boys here who didn't get to play the first game so we just wanted to give them a go and let them experience the Auckland crowd," he told NRL.com.
"I played the rest of the game and was sweet so it's nothing major. I'll be sweet for tomorrow."