Leeds and Wakefield sweat on injuries to key men

James Gordon
Lewis Murphy

Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com

Wakefield are likely to be without winger Lewis Murphy for next weekend’s trip to Leeds.

Murphy went off in the first half during Wakefield’s 8-0 defeat at home to Huddersfield with a knee injury and didn’t return.

Coach Mark Applegarth was unsure how bad the injury is, but expects Murphy to miss the Leeds game.

Applegarth said: “We don’t know, we’ll scan him.

“It was a contest in the air. I don’t think he’ll be available for next week. It’s something to do with his knee. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”

Lewis Murphy burst on to the scene last season with 19 tries in 21 appearances, which has seen him linked with a move to NRL club Sydney Roosters.

Leeming worries for Leeds

Leeds have injury concerns of their own ahead of the Friday night clash at Headingley.

Hooker Kruise Leeming was forced off in their thrilling 25-24 win at champions St Helens.

It is feared that it could be a recurrence of the foot injury that kept him sidelined for a spell last season.

Leeming appeared to pick up the knock when retrieving the ball at the back of a scrum when the St Helens forward pack caught the Rhinos unaware.

Coach Rohan Smith said after the game: “He’s got a sore foot – he had a fracture in his foot last year and the sign is it’s in a similar spot so we just have to see what the X-rays say.”

No pitch issues at Wakefield

Following the complaints of Catalans coach Steve McNamara a fortnight ago, there didn’t appear to be any further knocks caused by the much-maligned Wakefield pitch.

Their game against Huddersfield was only approved to be played following an inspection on Wednesday.

The new hybrid pitch at Belle Vue was criticised following their opening day defeat to Catalans.

It is thought that real grass hadn’t grown through as quickly as thought, and so plastic turf and sand was causing an abrasive surface.

There were concerns over its safety, particularly after issues surrounding cuts and infections were raised by the French side.

But it seems that time can be a healer after all, despite Kevin Proctor and Jorge Taufua both being pictured with cuts.

Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com

Wakefield coach Applegarth said: “The two weeks off has done its job.

“It’s getting quite a lot of treatment behind the scenes. I didn’t hear any complaints from either side.”

Huddersfield coach Ian Watson had been vocal about the pitch drama surrounding the game during the week.

He was eager to ensure that the Giants didn’t fall even further behind with fixtures, having had their round one clash with St Helens postponed due to the World Club Challenge.

Watson said that Wakefield should be forced to forfeit if the game couldn’t go ahead, an eventuality that never occurred in the end.

And the Giants coach had no complaints about the pitch.

He said post-match: “No, because we train and play on it (artificial turf) we’re a bit battle-hardened.

“Everyone looks pretty good.”

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