Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon admits he will have a selection headache next week as Cronulla faces both an injury battle and a five-day turnaround.
Cronulla’s four-game winning streak was officially snapped on Saturday night after going down 34-18 to the Storm in Melbourne.
The Sharks lost veteran Dale Finucane to a head knock early in the game, while wrecking-ball prop Braden Hamlin-Uele was also unable to finish the match.
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Hamlin-Uele was seen leaving the field during the final few minutes.
Fitzgibbon wasn’t totally confident on what the injury to Hamlin-Uele was, but said it could be a pectoral issue before adding that early signs suggest it’s a “significant” issue.
“We’ve got a couple of issues after tonight’s game that we’ve got to assess,” Fitzgibbon said.
“We might have a couple of changes… Braden Hamlin-Uele looks like he’s in a bad way.
“I think it’s a pec (pectoral injury), I’m not sure, but it’s something significant.”
In some positive news, Fitzgibbon said he was confident Briton Nikora would return when the Sharks face Manly on Thursday after the back-rower was a late withdrawal due to health and safety protocols.
But what next week’s line-up looks like remains a mystery, with several players suffering minor injuries that will cause the Sharks coach some headaches on Tuesday’s team selection day.
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“It’s so hard to know (who else might miss), we just finished a game. I haven’t thought about what the line-up will be,” Fitzgibbon added.
“You know the ones (injuries) that are real clear cut like Braden – obviously we have to replace Braden there, but the others are bumps and bruises.
“We’ve got a five-day turnaround, it’s that balancing act over the next 24 hours.”
Meanwhile, the Storm’s victory was courtesy of a Cameron Munster masterclass.
Munster produced his best game of the season, with two tries and an assist to go with 172 run metres.
He credited a change in lifestyle for his resurgence this season after a controversial off-season in which he was fined and suspended when a video emerged with him and a white substance.
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“No alcohol, almost six or seven months. I’m feeling good,” Munster said on Fox League.
“I’m eating a lot better. I have a little son now, so I’m trying to be a better role model.”