NRL Round 12 Teams: Bellamy optimistic on Munster, Warriors’ woes worsen, Broncos duo in doubt


Craig Bellamy is hopeful Cameron Munster‘s groin injury may not be as bad as initially suspected after the five-eighth went down in Melbourne’s Magic Round walloping of Parramatta.

Munster’s State of Origin hopes appeared to have been thrown into severe doubt when he pulled up in agonising pain attempting a tackle just before the half in the Storm’s 48-16 win on Sunday.

Cameras capturing the No.6 in tears in the dressing room post-game, but Storm coach Bellamy is crossing his fingers the Storm could still receive good news on their star player.

“When it first happened, I think the medical staff thought it was fairly serious, or not good at all,” Bellamy said. “But I don’t think they think it’s quite that bad now. But what that means, I don’t know and I don’t think we’ll know until he gets scans.”

The five-eighth had battled the injury in the pre-season and missed the first month of the Storm’s NRL campaign as he managed the complaint he says was caused by a slip in the shower.

He’ll have scans on Monday, Queensland’s Origin opener on June 5 in Sydney is fast approaching and North Queensland’s Tom Dearden looms as the Maroons star’s replacement to partner captain Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves if Munster is unavailable.

Storm half Jahrome Hughes (calf) is hopeful of playing but a decision will be made later in the week while prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona was reported for a cannon-ball tackle in the first half.

The Warriors’ injury woes have worsened with Wayde Egan concussed in the early stages of Sunday’s win over Penrith and the club is hopeful his back-up Freddy Lussick will be able to return from a head knock this weekend. 

Tohu Harris (finger) is also under a cloud for this Sunday’s home clash with the Dolphins after missing Magic Round.

Veteran halfback Shaun Johnson (pectoral) and centres Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (hamstring) and Rocco Berry (hand) are also sidelined along with Kurt Capewell (calf), Marata Niukore (foot) and Luke Metcalf (fractured leg).

Manly prop Matt Lodge picked up a bicep problem in his team’s loss to Brisbane, Knights centre Bradman Best’s Origin hopes went ping when he injured his hamstring against the Titans who lost prop Jaimin Jolliffe (pectoral).

Payne Haas. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Broncos prop Payne Haas limped off with a toe injury against the Sea Eagles but it is not thought to be a serious problem while Billy Walters (wrist) is also a maybe for Saturday’s derby with the Titans.

Canberra forward Josh Papali’i will miss Saturday’s clash with the Sydney Roosters after he was banned for a game for his part in a hip drop tackle on Bulldogs backrower Viliame Kikau in the opening night of Magic Round.

Papa was binned for the incident, leaving his side down to 11 men in the process, and later charged with a Grade 2 Dangerous Contact by the Match Review Panel.

He can miss just one game with the Early Guilty Plea or challenge the suspension and face a second week on the sidelines.

His teammates Joseph Tapine and Jordan Rapana were also hit with charges, but avoided bans. Tapine’s was for a high tackle, also on Kikau, while Rapana’s was for an incident with Reed Mahoney late in the Raiders’ win.

The only other charge was Broncos forward Brendan Piakura, who was fined for his high shot on Manly’s Corey Waddell in Brisbane’s dramatic 13-12 win over the Sea Eagles.

Knights prop Jack Hetherington ($1800-$2500 for a high tackle), Titans forward Keenan Palasia and Rabbitohs rookie Dion Teaupa ($1000-$1500) each are facing fines from Saturday’s triple header. 

There were several players on report from Sunday’s game with Penrith’s James Fisher-Harris (dangerous contact) and Matt Eisenhuth (high tackle), Warriors trio Jackson Ford (dangerous tackle), Tom Ale (dangerous contact) and Bunty Afoa (dangerous tackle), Tigers pair Justin Olam (dangerous contact) and Brent Naden (high tackle) awaiting their fate from the match review committee.

Round 12 teams

All times AEST

Canterbury vs St George Illawarra at Accor Stadium: 7.50pm, Thursday May 23

Bulldogs: Versatile forward Jaeman Salmon (illness) is a maybe while veteran Ryan Sutton will be out for a few more weeks with his knee injury.

Dragons: Luciano Leilua will be available for selection in Round 12 after the club has taken a cautious approach with his return from a calf complaint.

North Qld vs Wests at QCB Stadium: 6pm, Friday May 24

Cowboys: Wingers Kyle Feldt and Semi Valemei have ankle concerns while Tom Chester is another week or two away from a return from his hamstring injury.

Tigers: Justin Olam (dangerous contact) and Brent Naden (high tackle) will find out on Monday if they have a case to answer from the match review committee.

Brent Naden. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Manly vs Melbourne at 4 Pines Park: 8pm, Friday May 24

Sea Eagles: Front-rower Matt Lodge injured his bicep problem in the loss to Brisbane while hooker Lachlan Croker (concussion) and middle forward Nathan Brown (hip flexor) are aiming to return on Friday.

Storm: Jahrome Hughes (calf) is hopeful of playing but a decision will be made later in the week while Cameron Munster (groin) appears at long odds to be right to play on a short turnaround and could be out of Origin if scans reveal major damage.

Canberra vs Sydney at GIO Stadium: 3pm, Saturday May 25

Raiders: Josh Papalii will be banned for a hip drop in the win over the Bulldogs. Corey Horsburgh may be back from a groin injury to offset his absence.

Roosters: Joey Manu should be back after missing Magic Round with a head knock.

Cronulla vs Penrith at PointsBet Stadium: 5.30pm, Saturday May 25

Sharks: Toby Rudolf will be out for a few more weeks with his knee injury.

Panthers: Young prop Liam Henry (concussion) is in doubt for the Cronulla clash.

South Sydney vs Parramatta at Accor Stadium: 7.35pm, Saturday May 25

Rabbitohs:  Second-rower Jacob Host will return from a two-week ban while rookie half Dion Teaupa ($1000-$1500 fine for a high tackle) has avoided a suspension. 

Eels: Mitchell Moses is again trying to make an early comeback from his damaged foot ligament as his team’s season spirals to the bottom of the ladder.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Brisbane vs Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium: 2pm, Sunday May 25

Broncos: Billy Walters is a chance to return from a minor wrist injury. Payne Haas (toe) will be monitored throughout the week.

Titans: Jayden Campbell is on the comeback trail from his knee injury while Kieran Foran (hamstring) and Jaimin Jolliffe (pec) are also under a cloud.

Warriors vs Dolphins at Go Media Stadium: 4.05pm, Sunday May 25

Warriors: Hooker Wayde Egan was concussed in the early stages of Sunday’s win over Penrith and his back-up Freddy Lussick should be able to return from a head knock this weekend. 

Tohu Harris (finger) is also no certainty to play after skipping Magic Round.

Dolphins: Max Plath (concussion) and Tesi Niu (ankle) are pushing to play this weekend.


Knights: Daniel Saifiti will return from a ban for a careless high tackle next week while Bradman Best’s short-term prospects don’t look great after his hamstring injury in the win over Gold Coast.

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