NRL legends Peter Sterling and Paul Gallen broke down what the devastating injuries to Victor Radley and Sam Verrills means for the Sydney Roosters’ premiership hopes.
Radley, 22, and Verrills, 21, sustained serious knee injuries in the first half of the Roosters’ 26-12 win over the Dragons.
The pair both featured in the Roosters’ premiership-winning side last year, with Radley also claiming an NRL ring in 2018, and the playmaker was a hot tip to feature in State of Origin for New South Wales this year.
Sterling said the two injuries were a tough hit to their playing group as the Roosters aim to win their third-straight premiership in 2020.
“It’s a blow,” Sterling said on Nine’s post-game show VB Friday Night Knock Off.
“A lot of things have to go your way to win a premiership. One of the most important things is a healthy roster. You want your players there in those big games at the end of the year.”
Sterling said the way both injuries seemed to happen without heavy contact was a major concern and that Radley’s absence going forward will put more pressure on halfback Shane Flanagan.
“That’s when you worry, when players go down when nobody else is around,” he said.
“We mentioned before the game that having Victor Radley out there, it’s made the transition for Kyle Flanagan into a new side so much easier. He’ll have to learn a bit quicker.
“But [Roosters coach] Trent Robinson will be all over it, they’ll deal with it and they’ll sort out what needs to be done now in the absence of those players.
“I’ll try to put a silver lining on it – they’re young. They’ll heal well, they’ll rehab great.”
Radley goes down injured
Gallen said he would be “surprised” if Radley and Verrills’ scans tomorrow don’t come back as ACL injuries, as suspected.
“When the knee buckles the way it does and rolls in a little bit, that’s an ACL done straight away,” he said.
“It’s terrible news for both of them .
“Victor Radley has been such a major part of their side all year. He’s a huge loss.
“Verrills, they’ve stuck him out there to try and give him more game-time because Jake Friend has been playing so well, so that’s really sad news for that young bloke.”
Verrills carried off after worrying injury
Sydney coach Trent Robinson denied that his side made an official complaint about the surface at Bankwest Stadium over the injuries, but Roosters great Brad Fittler said at halftime that players had been complaining of the “sticky” turf.
That prompted a response from Bankwest Stadium and NRL CEO Addrew Abdo, with the latter confirming that testing had been carried out pre-game to ensure it was ready for the Friday night NRL fixture.
But Abdo said player safety was a”massive concern” and they would test the turf again tomorrow morning, and if there were “concerns” they would move future games.