Sharks and Rabbitohs lose key men after clash

CARNAGE at Cronulla on Friday night has left Sharks star James Maloney needing surgery on a broken hand and doubt over Souths skipper Sam Burgess playing again in 2017.

Maloney will undergo a minor operation on Monday after scans confirmed a fracture that is expected to sideline him for the next three weeks.

The NSW pivot proved the difference in a tight win over the Rabbitohs, as conjecture around his future continues as he pushes for a pay rise Cronulla are unwilling to entertain.

Burgess meanwhile was forced out of the contest with what is feared to be a cracked rib sustained in a heavy tackle.

The big Brit will sweat on scans over the weekend, with a rib injury likely to rule him out for up to six weeks, or as few as three.

A worst-case scenario would end Burgess’ season for the battling Bunnies, but would not keep him from representing England in November’s World Cup.

Coach Michael Maguire was unsure of the full extent of Burgess’ injury when he fronted for his press conference after the 26-12 loss.

“We’re not really sure but it could be a bit of a cracked rib,” Maguire said.

“We’ll have to get the scans and go through the process around that.”

Across the ditch Warriors prop James Gavet has also suffered what is most likely a season-ending broken arm.

Gavet was initially sent for scans after last Friday’s loss to Penrith with no break revealed, however further x-rays confirmed the injury after he kept another knock at training during the week.

A six-week stint on sidelines means the Warriors will need to pull off an unlikely run all the way to the finals for Gavet to play again in 2017.