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The Roar


Panthers concerned over injured duo

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The injury bug may have finally hit Penrith with back line duo Dylan Edwards and Dean Whare failing to finish Sunday’s NRL triumph over North Queensland.

The Panthers roared home late to claim a 12-point victory over the Cowboys and steal top spot on the competition table from Parramatta.

However, coach Ivan Cleary faces a nervous wait on Edwards and Whare, who suffered hamstring and adductor injuries respectively.

Whare, who was returning from a two-game absence with a toe issue, appeared hindered by a tackle early in the contest before retiring in the seventh minute.

“Dean’s had a toe injury but he’s got an adductor injury today. It happened really early. He said it was a contact thing, so hopefully that’s a good thing,” Cleary said.

Edwards’ issue could be more problematic, with fears the fullback aggravated an injury that forced him to miss the first three games when the season resumed. He played the opening hour before also exiting.

Dylan Edwards

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“Dylan Edwards has had hamstring issues and he was feeling a few things during the week but nothing too much,” Cleary said.

“Same thing in the warm-up, so he kept playing. I don’t know. Not sure about that one, but it’s obviously a concern.”


Stephen Crichton is likely to be a candidate to play fullback should Edwards be ruled out, having filled in for the last 20 minutes.

Caleb Aekins is another option, while rookie Charlie Staines may also be a chance should he be cleared to play after breaking COVID-19 protocols last week.

The Panthers join a growing list of clubs to be hit by injury, with top-four rivals Parramatta, Melbourne and Newcastle also without some key players.

Still, Cleary was proud of the way his team has surged to the top of the table.

“It’s no prize, but we’ve earned that spot through how we’ve played,” he said.


“It’s another lesson today in a different style of contest for us, so many things in our favour leading into today’s game.

“But yeah, it does set us up. It’s what we do from here on in. We fall into next week’s game, first time we’ve travelled next week, we play the Titans.

“So we look forward to getting ourselves ready for that.”