Captain Jamie Lyon has joined Manly’s list of NRL round-one doubtfuls after hurting his knee on Saturday in the Sea Eagles’ 36-6 trial loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Lyon didn’t return to the match after limping off at halftime and coach Geoff Toovey conceded the star centre might not be fit for their premiership opener on March 6 against Parramatta.
“He has a sore knee, so it is a concern, but we are hoping it is nothing major,” Toovey said.
“We will have to look at it tomorrow. He is confident but we will see.”
Manly can ill afford the loss of Lyon, after the departure of several experienced campaigners from Brookvale at the end of 2014, including Glenn Stewart, Jason King and Anthony Watmough.
Tom Symonds (elbow) is also in doubt for round one as is Steve Matai (shoulder), Brenton Lawrence (knee) and Jamie Buhrer (knee).
“Steve Matai has had that operation and he may or may not be back – he will be close; Jamie Buhrer, too,” Toovey said.
“I don’t know if they will be ready.”
Manly led early after a Peta Hiku try in the 10th minute, but after new captain Mitchell Pearce dragged three defenders over the Manly line in the 28th minute to score, it was all the Roosters in a slick performance out wide and a dominant one up front.
Coach Trent Robinson was pleased with the performance before around 3500 fans at Central Coast Stadium.
“It was our first major trial and we were a bit scratchy at first, with some guys in different positions, but there were some good things there, some good structures,” he said.
“There was a lot of fitness in getting through the game and a lot of speed.
“I thought our yardage sets, our yardage work was good too.
“Right across the board, I thought we were good. I am not going to single anybody out but I thought we were very clean in our own performance.”
With hooker Jake Friend out for the first six rounds with a shoulder injury, Robinson said he wasn’t settled yet on how to replace him. Matt McIlwrick was solid in the starting No.9 slot before Mitchell Aubusson showed some nice touches as his back-up, including the second Roosters try from a dummy-half pass to Kane Evans.
“I think Matty was really strong there,” Robinson said.
“We decided to use Jacko (Jackson Hastings) in the halves (after Pearce was replaced) but he has been playing hooker for a bit there so he will come into contention.
“But Matty started the game and was really solid. He is very strong defensively and really rolled the ruck forward.
“And then Aubbo, he looked like a hooker. He looked really comfortable there.
“You want to have options up your sleeves – a couple of decisions to make for round one.”
After Evans’ try, the Roosters led 12-6 at the break and went on with it.
Daniel Tupou scored two tries including an 80m effort, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Dylan Napa rounding out the try-scoring as the Roosters piled on 30 unanswered points.