NRL Round 6 Teams: Souths a mess as Latrell ban worsens injury woes, Walsh early return? ACL fears for Cowboy


South Sydney are in disarray heading into Saturday’s stoush against the Sharks with Latrell Mitchell suspended on the back of their heavy loss to the Warriors. 

The star fullback was charged with grade-two dangerous contact for his forearm to Shaun Johnson’s face during the 34-4 smash-up at the hands of the Warriors on Saturday at Accor Stadium.

His poor judiciary record means that even with an early guilty plea he will miss three matches. One option for the last-placed Rabbitohs would be to try and downgrade the charge into a level-one, in a bid for Mitchell to avoid a ban and take a fine.

But in doing so, the fullback would risk a fourth game on the sidelines if he is unsuccessful.

Back-up halfback Lachlan Ilias is out long term after breaking his leg in the NSW Cup, while they were already without veteran winger Alex Johnston (hamstring) and Maroons forward Jai Arrow (shoulder) for another month, while Test centre Campbell Graham (sternum) is sidelined for the majority of the year.

Souths have Cronulla, Melbourne and Penrith in their next three games, as pressure intensifies on coach Jason Demetriou.

Mitchell’s ban likely means the club will call upon 20-year-old Jye Gray to debut in his spot against Cronulla on Saturday night.

The Sharks are refreshed after the bye in Round 5 and will be boosted by the return of suspended second-rower Briton Nikora while prop Braden Hamlin-Uele (knee) and Dale Finucane (concussion) are hoping to be back. Fellow forwards Royce Hunt (calf) and Toby Rudolf (ankle) will remain on the sidelines for a few more weeks. 

Dolphins hooker Kurt Donoghoe is facing a ban of 2-3 matches for a high tackle on Samuela Fainu during their win over the Tigers, while Wests star Aidan Sezer has escaped with a fine of $1800-$2500 for dangerous contact on Jesse Bromwich.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Roosters winger Dom Young is also looking at a three-match suspension after being charged for the high tackle which led to his send-off on Friday night against the Bulldogs.

The England winger can cop a two-match sanction with an early plea. 

Cowboys centre Zac Laybutt suffered a suspected ACL tear in his team’s win over the Titans on Sunday while bench forward Sam McIntyre (concussion) is unlikely to suit up for Saturday’s clash with Parramatta.

Titans veteran Kieran Foran failed to finish the match with an ankle injury.

Injured Dolphins prop Thomas Fleger says he will leave no stone unturned in his quest to play in the grudge match with former club Brisbane on Friday.

Flegler left the field in the 63nd minute of the 26-16 win over Wests Tigers on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium with a shoulder complaint and spent the rest of the match on the sideline with ice on the injury.

He joined centre Herbie Farnworth (AC joint) and second-rower Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) on the injured list from the match. 

Farnworth will miss at least four weeks with the injury, while the club also conceded Kaufusi was “long odds” of facing the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane captain Adam Reynolds has been cleared of serious injury, while scans have revealed winger Deine Mariner has suffered a fractured back in mixed injury news for the battered Broncos.

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Mariner, who suffered the injury in a heavy collision with Storm winger Xavier Coates, managed to play out Thursday night’s game but joined Reynolds in going for scans.

Broncos head of performance Dave Ballard said Reynolds’ diagnosis was a minor hamstring strain but offered no timeline for his return.

Mariner will be out for at least a month. His replacement is likely to be veteran winger Corey Oates who came off the bench in the loss to the Storm last Friday.

Fullback Reece Walsh will be given every chance to face the Dolphins in his quest to return a week early from a facial fracture.

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