Keary rushed to hospital as Roosters rolled by Storm
The history-seeking Sydney Roosters are busted, broken and battered like never before in the club's 112-year history.
Champion five-eighth Luke Keary was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, on Thursday night with suspected internal bleeding - the latest addition to a grisly 11-player injury toll at Bondi.
The Roosters' injury list grew to a crippling level during a horrible 24-6 loss to Melbourne at the SCG, any hopes of an historic three-peat looking increasingly unlikely.
Keary came off with a rib injury in the 63rd minute - when hammered by Storm centre Brenko Lee - and lay on prone on the turf when treated by two club trainers
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Paramedics were immediately called to the Roosters dressing rooms to diagnose Keary, who was then taken to hospital by ambulance.
"He's not great at the moment - it's pretty painful, something internal. We thought it was ribs but we worked out it's probably something deeper than that," said Roosters coach Trent Robinson. "He's in quite a bit of pain."
Former Roosters teammate and halves partner, Cooper Cronk added: "Luke's a tough kid. He's played a lot of football under extreme pressure and pain at different stages so for him to go off it must be pretty severe."
New halfback Lachlan Lam sustained suspected Syndesmosis and could be out for a month, prompting an immediate recall for dropped Kyle Flanagan.
And then came the injury that will rock the Roosters. Club favourite, Mitch Aubusson came off with a suspected broken left wrist and did not return.
Playing his 301st NRL game, Aubusson was just one match from equalling the club record of 302 matches, set by the great Anthony Minichiello. And with this being his final season before retirement, the Roosters are desperately hoping Aubusson can make it back again.
"I don't really want to think about that right now. It was a tough footy night," Robinson said.
The Roosters casualty ward already includes Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Brett Morris, Angus Crichton, Daniel Tupou, Boyd Cordner, Victor Radley, Sam Verrills and Billy Smith.
"It was like a MASH unit out there tonight," said Storm coach Craig Bellamy. "You've got to feel for the Roosters, Luke looks pretty serious. I'm not sure whether there's too much fatigue in our game."
Robinson squashed any suggestion he may send an SOS for Sonny Bill Williams to help overcome the injuries.
Williams emerged from his two-week quarantine on Thursday and would be available for Saturday's match against Wests Tigers Leichhardt Oval. Robinson though stated Williams would need at least three weeks to acclimatise to training, playing style and teammates.
Williams clearly be underdone but could be used sparingly off the bench, adding much needed class, confidence and power. Asked would he rush SBW back, Robinson: "No, not at all. No one get excited about next week."
Melbourne appears to be lapping up their Sunshine Coast resort. It has now been seven weeks in the Queensland bubble for seven wins.
The Storm will face another 11 weeks in their four-star beachfront Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort at Twin Waters should they reach the grand final. Melbourne led 14-0 at halftime and 24-0 early in the second half. It was a rare mismatch between these two sides.
Unbelievably, the past six regular-season games before Thursday night were decided by just three points or less, three in golden point. The major negative for Melbourne was a broken jaw to winger Suli Vunivalu.
"That will eat into our semi-finals," Bellamy said. Halfback Jahrome Hughes (groin) was also injured.
The Roosters were disjointed and sloppy in the opening half. After 30 minutes, the Roosters had completed just six from 12 sets while Melbourne was 15 from 16. The Roosters had made 36 more tackles - the equivalent of six extra sets. That gave Melbourne 60 percent of possession.
By full time, the Roosters' completion rate had improved slightly to 61 per cent. A usually calm Robinson was captured having a rare coaching box blow-up. The Roosters certainly felt the pressure of Melbourne's rushing defence.
"We weren't good enough tonight - we need to accept that," Robinson said. "We need to improve, we need to get better."
TEDDY v PAPENHUYZEN
Two great fullbacks - but only one winner. Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen took the honours in his match-up with Roosters champion James Tedesco.
Papenhuyzen was twice involved in a wonderful first half try to Justin Olam. He also kicked four and had a first half try disallowed. He just burns defenders in open play. Tedesco also had some nice touches.
A FRIEND FOREVER
Roosters captain Jake Friend remains unsigned for next season but contract negotiations have kick-started.
"Jake is very happy at the club and the club has always indicated they would like to retain him and he has indicated he would like to stay," said Steve Gillis, Friend's manager. "We are working through the process."
Talks have been slow through COVID protocols which prevent Gillis meeting Friend face-to-face. "I can't meet with the player which makes it difficult," Gillis said.
Originally published as Keary rushed to hospital as Roosters rolled by Storm