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NSW, Penrith wait on Luai scans

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2nd July, 2021
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Jarome Luai will be sent for scans on an injured knee in another potential cruel blow for NSW’s halves ahead of their shot at a State of Origin clean sweep.

Luai was adamant after Penrith’s 13-12 NRL win over Parramatta that he would be okay, laughing off the injury as “just a cork”.

But with ice wrapped around his left knee, there is some minor cause for concern.

Just days after Penrith and Blues partner Nathan Cleary was ruled out for up to six weeks with a shoulder blow, Luai was hurt when his foot stuck into the ground in a tackle.

He received immediate treatment and while he stayed on, he did have the injury strapped in back play shortly after.

The 24-year-old at one point looked ginger but was moving freely later in the game and after fulltime, filling him with hope he can play in Origin 3 on July 14.

“It’s alright… just a cork,” Luai said on Friday night.

Jarome Luai of the Panthers passes the ball

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“I’ll just ice it up and have a couple of days off. It should be good for it.

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“My foot got a bit caught in the tackle, hopefully a bit of ice can help it.

“It was a bit uncomfortable but I wanted to do a good job for my team and stay out there.

“I tried to do a few kicks out there but it was a bit sore. I’ll probably have scans tomorrow just to check up on it, but I reckon it’s just a cork.”

Adding to NSW’s concern, Parramatta’s Mitch Moses also finished Friday night with ice on his right calf after finishing the game sore.

The front-runner to replace Cleary, Moses’ in-play kicking game was superb on Friday night as he gave the Eels all the good ball in the first half.

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But the night ended on a sour note, missing a penalty shot from 32 metres out and eight in from the sideline to let a chance to win the game on the siren slip.

Regardless though, it was enough to impress Blues coach Brad Fittler with Adam Reynolds the other leading contender.

The Blues could otherwise opt for a five-eighth in Jack Wighton or Cody Walker as they gun for their first clean sweep in 21 years.

“He (Moses) didn’t do himself any harm… but there are still a fair few games to over the weekend and we will have plenty to talk about,” Fittler said on Nine.

“If he didn’t play they would have got beat by more.

“If not for his kicking game Penrith would have played a lot more on the try line.

“Mitchell was stuck in his own 30 a lot and had to reef it down and find some space. State of Origin is a lot like that.

“We don’t get penalties and most of the time you are kicking from your own end.”

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