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Eels, Panthers need new halves, Manly seven return, Carrigan, Burgess Kennedy out




Penrith will be without both their star playmakers until the finals while the Eels won’t have Mitchell Moses on deck for at least a month.

With Nathan Cleary (five-game dangerous throw ban) and Jarome Luai (knee) sidelined, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is set to hand the playmaking duties to Dolphins-bound half Sean O’Sullivan and rookie five-eighth Kurt Falls for Saturday’s trip to Canberra.

Falls was out last week with a minor shin injury but is expected to be fit to face the Raiders.

Moses’ broken finger means Eels coach Brad Arthur needs a new on-field general with speculation surfacing that captain Clint Gutherson could be switched to the halves alongside Dylan Brown with Hayze Perham promoted to fullback.

Cronulla are likely to use former rugby sevens star Lachie Miller at fullback with Will Kennedy out for six weeks with an ankle injury when the Sharks host the Dragons this Saturday.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Broncos coach Kevin Walters is almost certain to be without Patrick Carrigan for Thursday’s clash with the Roosters and the foreseeable future after the Maroons forward was referred straight to the judiciary for the hip-drop tackle which broke Wests Tigers lock Jackson Hastings’ leg.

Elsewhere, South Sydney will be without Tom Burgess for Saturday’s Sunshine Coast fixture against the Warriors after he was hit with a grade-two careless high-tackle charge. He avoided the chance of a two-game ban if he had contested the charge.

Manly debutant Alfred Smalley has entered an early guilty plea to cop a one-game ban for a high tackle on Roosters rake Sam Verrills while Egan Butcher is also out of Round 21 after taking a grade-two careless high tackle charge for a hit on James Segeyaro.

The Sea Eagles will welcome back the seven players who boycotted last week’s game over the “inclusivity jersey” for Women In League Round: Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley.

Kiwi international Brandon Smith will return from a three-game ban for abusing a referee when the Storm host the Titans on Friday night with mid-season recruit, Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma, set to line up for Melbourne.

Smith called referee Adam Gee a “cheating bastard” during the Storm’s 28-6 loss to Cronulla and was subsequently outed for his dissent.

All squads will be officially announced at 4pm AEST.





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