Yenda Blueheelers hit by injury crisis

SIDELINED: A shoulder injury looks set to rule out Yenda hooker Tama Miratana this weekend.
SIDELINED: A shoulder injury looks set to rule out Yenda hooker Tama Miratana this weekend.

Group 20 rugby league

YENDA'S Tom Sellars and Tama Miratana look set to miss tomorrow night's derby against fierce rivals the Waratah Tigers.

Sellars, who was named in the Riverina representative side after starring for Group 20 on Saturday in Wagga, is nursing a calf complaint while hooker Miratana is still feeling the effects of a shoulder injury he sustained against the Hurricanes earlier this month.

Coach Roy Romeo said he would err on the side of caution with both players.

"If they're not right I won't play them," he said.

Sellars has been named to start in the second row but will be assessed on game day while Ben Vitucci is ready to step into the No.9 jersey should Miratana fail to prove his fitness.

The injuries have come at a terrible time for the Blueheelers, depleting their forward stocks ahead of a meeting with the competition's biggest and most imposing pack.

But Romeo said his side had a plan to counter the likes of Waratahs wrecking ball Mike Ioapo and in-form forward Moahoni Lelei.

"They have some big boppers and they're definitely going to be a challenge for us," he said.

"Big Mike takes some stopping but we'll have to nullify his influence on the game.

"You're not going to stop it completely.

"You've just got to get numbers in the tackle and make sure he doesn't have much impact.

"We've got to aim up or it'll end in defeat."

Romeo admitted he was not surprised to see the 'Tahs up and about this year after a dreadful last few seasons.

The Waratahs' four key off-season buys - Kose Lelei, Moahoni Lelei, Mike Ioapo and Johnny Teleaga - were all picked in the Group 20 rep squad.

"In Group 20 you only need five or six quality players. The rest gel with them and you become a quality side," he said.

"I always thought with Kose coming back to coach that they'd go alright.

"And then he brought the other boys with them and they've become a big asset for them.

"It's a credit to that football club to be where they are after the last few years and great for the competition."

Meanwhile, Waratahs president Ken Wells has denied rumours his side has signed former Yenda playmaker David Rauluni, who has returned to Griffith and is said to be looking for a new club.


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