IN­JURY CAP S ROUGH NIGHT

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - RIKKI- LEE ARNOLD EELS BRON­COS PAR­RA­MATTA EELS

THE Bron­cos’ pre­mier­ship hopes have taken a mas­sive hit, af­ter star rake An­drew McCul­lough suf­fered what ap­peared to be a se­ri­ous knee in­jury in last night’s 28- 14 loss to the Eels.

Bris­bane’s No. 9 was as­sisted from the field in the 69th minute, af­ter cop­ping a hit to his left leg from team­mate Adam Blair.

The col­li­sion oc­curred when Blair came in late on Par­ra­matta cen­tre Michael Jennings, with McCul­lough get­ting caught up in the tackle.

It was a dev­as­tat­ing blow for the hooker, who has been in ca­reer- best form this sea­son and one of Bris­bane’s most con­sis­tent play­ers.

Blair was also pe­nalised for the hit, which saw the Eels take a 16- 14 lead through a penalty goal be­fore they de­liv­ered the killer blow just five min­utes out from full­time, with winger Kiri­some Auva’a hand­ing his side a much- needed win.

Full­back Be­van French ex­tended the lead just be­fore full­time, with McCul­lough’s ab­sence im­me­di­ately tak­ing its toll on the Bron­cos.

The vic­tory to Par­ra­matta also puts them on the same points as Bris­bane and in con­tention for a top four fin­ish.

The Bron­cos mean­while will now be sweat­ing on the fit­ness of McCul­lough, who could go for scans as soon as to­day once the team ar­rive back in Bris­bane. The most ob­vi­ous re­place­ment for McCul­lough should he be side­lined is Kodi Niko­rima.

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