Melbourne Storm have announced injuries to three key players following their round one win over Wests Tigers on Saturday.
Hooker Brandon Smith was forced off after just two minutes after breaking his hand following a tackle. After pulling away from the tackle, he went straight to the sideline holding his hand.
He was joined on the sideline by winger George Jennings. Jennings went down untouched in the 24th minute, and it is suspected he has ruptured his ACL. This happened just 10 minutes after he had levelled the scores for the Storm.
The final blow came in the closing stages. Co-captain Christian Welch was forced off with a suspected torn Achilles.
It could also get worse for the Storm. Forward Trent Loiero was put on report in the first half for a cannon-ball tackle on Luciano Leilua.
Winning start for Melbourne
The Storm had to come from behind to secure their round one victory at the Commbank Stadium.
Ken Maumalo had given Wests the lead after just six minutes, before Jennings was able to level the scores. David Nofoaluma had given the Tigers the lead back before Maumalo scored his second to give the Tigers a 12-4 lead at half-time.
But in the second half, the Storm were able to turn the screw. Loiero scored nine minutes into the second half before further efforts from Jahrome Hughes, Xavier Coates and Reimis Smith won the game 26-16 for Melbourne.
Despite the losses they suffered in the game, there is better news ahead of next week’s match against South Sydney. Forward Jesse Bromwich is set to return after a COVID-enforced absence.
Meanwhile, Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Chris Lewis will all return from suspension. The Rabbitohs will be hoping to bounce back after a disappointing defeat against Brisbane on Friday.