TRAIGHT talking Sea Eagles forward Shaun Lane has a message for champion Melbourne Storm duo Billy Slater and Cameron Smith — I hope neither of you play against us on Sunday at AAMI Park.
Fullback Slater was knocked unconscious in a sickening tackle off the ball by Canberra’s Sia Soliala on Saturday night and was ruled out yesterday while Smith has a slight pec tear and a likely long shot to play in Sunday’s showdown between the two premiership contenders at AAMI Park.
“It’s extremely unlikely Cameron will play this Sunday, given the player Cameron is and his resilience to play the amount of games he has over recent seasons, we will give him every chance to do so,” said Storm football director Frank Ponissi.
Lane described Slater and Smith as quality players and they have been there and done that. Lane said.
“All that experience would really be missing for them, so fingers crossed they don’t pull through their fitness test,” Lane said.
“Having players of that quality missing will surely impact their performance a little bit.”
It is a sentiment that any player in Lane’s situation would feel, but few would be honest enough to express openly.
Lane said this Sunday’s game would be Smith’s 350th game which is one of the best of all time and he provides his side with a cool head.
“There is no doubt that when you are missing players of Blake Green and Api Koriosau’s quality you are going to struggle a little bit,” Lane said.
“And they were sorely missed out there, but the blokes who came in are definitely quality players as well and there was no excuse for us to put up the performance that we did.”