Paul Gallen set for lengthy stint on sidelines

MICHAEL CARAYANNIS
Last updated 07:10 14/07/2014
Paul Gallen
Getty
TIME OUT: Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen injured his biceps during Sunday's loss to the Knights.

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Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen could face an extended stint on the sidelines following fears he seriously injured his biceps in the Sharks' loss to Newcastle on Sunday.

Gallen came from the field midway through the second half but returned to finish the game despite the injury.

The Blues captain had an immediate ultrascan after the game that showed there was some damage to his right biceps.

Gallen is understood to have undergone further scans at hospital on Sunday night. ''He got a whack on his biceps,'' Cronulla coach James Shepherd said. ''We'll see what the MRIs say.''

Injuries to Gallen and Wade Graham plagued Cronulla's bench rotation. Like Gallen, Graham returned to the field after fearing he had damaged his collarbone.

''It wasn't planning for Gal to come off,'' Shepherd said. ''He is an 80-minute player. He needed a check to sort out the biceps. Wade was the same. It happened together, in a period where we were battling. To get them back out there it costs you double interchanges. It happened during a period of the game where we didn't have the ball or field position. We lost our way.''

Graham, who said his collarbone went ''numb'', said the Sharks lost their grip on the game when Willie Mason surged over untouched just before half-time to let the Knights claw their way back.  

''We lost it just before half-time,'' Graham said of the momentum. ''Then in the second half we couldn't get the ball from the kick-off.''

It would be perhaps the greatest miracle of Wayne Bennett's illustrious coaching career but the Newcastle Knights believe they can reach the play-offs after their courageous 31-18 victory against Cronulla at Remondis Stadium.

Down 18-0 late in the first half, the Knights were staring directly at the prospect of a loss that would have left them outright last on the points table.

Instead they rallied and ran away with their third victory in as many games, a result that lifted them to within three wins of the top eight, with eight rounds left to play.

History would suggest the Knights need at least seven more wins to feature in the post-season, leaving precious little room for error.

But given that six of those games are on home turf, Newcastle at least have a fighting chance to provide an appropriate send-off for Bennett, who announced last week he was leaving the club at season's end.

Knights skipper Kurt Gidley, the catalyst for his team's revival since switching from hooker to halfback three games ago, said after the game he felt rugby league's version of Mission: Impossible was achievable.

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''Yeah, I always believe,'' Gidley said. ''I'm not sure about the mathematics. If we keep doing our job, we might be a chance.''

- Sydney Morning Herald

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