Injuries cripple Pirates

OLD Bar coach Jason Morrissey admits he has 'no idea' what his side may be in for in Sunday's Group Three Rugby League final against Forster-Tuncurry at Old Bar.

The Pirates have been ravaged by injury at the wrong time of the year. Morrissey confirmed that fullback Steve Sansom and halfback Daniel Harris won't play again this season regardless of Sunday's outcome. Sansom badly broke his finger at training last Friday while Harris carried a broken wrist through last Sunday's heavy major semi-final loss to Wauchope.

Morrissey revealed that centre/winger Jamie Hartland and second rower Ty Blanchette are both battling to be fit. However, he put on a brave face.

"We still have plenty of good players in the club and the reserve grade has been training on with us. We'll be 17 players out there on Sunday and they'll all be trying.''

The loss of Harris leaves the Pirates without one of their main playmakers and Morrissey concedes this is a major blow.

"But we still have experienced blokes there like (Nathan) Berry and Mick Henry,'' he added.

Centre Kyle Mundine was a late withdrawal from the side last Sunday causing a major reshuffle. Morrissey has been in contact with Mundine this week and he assured he will be in the run-on side to play the Hawks.

Front rower Kyle Cochrane started last Sunday at fullback but he'll be back in his representative spot this week.

Morrissey said that Cochrane has struggled for fitness since injuring his shoulder in the second round game against the Hawks. He seemed to be favouring the shoulder at times against Wauchope.

However, Morrissey said that wasn't the reason he was switched to fullback.

"The bloke's an athlete - he can play anywhere,'' he said.

"But he will be back in the forwards this week.''

The Pirates haven't featured in a first grade grand final since 2000. Even though they've won two of the three games against the Hawks this year they'll go into Sunday's match as underdogs.


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