Canberra coach Ricky Stuart will be sweating on scans for his international winger Jordan Rapana as the Raiders gear up for a difficult month of tough opponents.
Rapana hurt his ribs in the 20th minute of Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Sea Eagles as he manhandled opposite winger Jorge Taufua over the sideline.
"I don’t think it's broken. I think it's cartilage and if it's cartilage he'll be OK," Stuart said.
He knows that without the 100kg frame patrolling the Raiders sideline and making the kick-return runs like a back-rower, teams will target that side. Manly showed the way.
"They came down that edge a fair bit today but we held them out for the most part. They got us the back end of the first half and once in the second half," Stuart said of tries to Martin Taupau and Lachlan Croker.
Rapana is a remarkable healer. He dislocated his shoulder playing for the Kiwis against England last November and was expected back in round 11 this year. He was back in round two.
Raiders chance their arm on the last
Last year he tore his hamstring and was told it would be an 8-10 week recovery. He was back after five weeks.
But his value was evidenced on Sunday by Stuart having to reshuffle the right edge twice against Manly. At first he put centre Joey Leilua out to the wing and back-rower John Bateman into the centres.
Then after half-time he had Nic Cotric swap from left wing to right, Leilua back to centre, Jarrod Croker over to the left wing and Bateman at left centre.
It wasn't the reason Canberra lost. But it rattled them.
Manly were in a mood. They made seven line breaks to the Raiders four, 15 offloads to their six and 52 tackle breaks to Canberra's 24.
"It's not going to be the only game we lose. We'll handle this now together and get back home and start preparing for next week," Stuart said.
"We got outplayed today from a team perspective."
Stuart now readies the team for the Panthers at Wagga Wagga next weekend, the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium, and then the Rabbitohs back in Canberra.
"We'll just keep our heads down, think about the next opposition and don't think too far ahead."
What he won't want to see is another 13-5 penalty count against his side. He did not think the Raiders play warranted that many penalties.
Sign up for a free NRL Account to access this video and other exclusive content.
Not sure? Learn more about an NRL Account.
"Considering the amount of penalties they got – and that's not to say they were all wrong – I thought we did a pretty good job defensively," Stuart said.
"We didn't defend anywhere as near as good as we have. I thought to be only 4-3 in tries, considering the weight of penalties, was not too bad.
"In one or two instances there was some penalties there on discipline but I haven't told them anything this week in regards to changing anything in the ruck… so it was probably our turn," Stuart said, declining to elaborate on whether he thought ruck speed in round seven had changed after Wayne Bennett's comments on it in round six.