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FutureStarr@Broncos winger @CoreyOates to Have Surgery on Broken Jaw
Broncos winger Corey Oates will undergo surgery for a broken jaw, in an unprecedented setback for the NRL side. Oates is expected to miss six to eight weeks following scans that revealed a "displaced fracture" of his jaw.
On Friday night, North Queensland fullback Scott Drinkwater made a shoulder charge on Oates which caused his injury. As a result, Drinkwater was charged by the match review committee on Saturday and will miss three games if he takes an early plea.
North Queensland Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater has been given a four-game ban for his hit on Brisbane Broncos winger Corey Oates that left him with a fractured jaw. Drinkwater was sent to the sideline following his high tackle of Oates in the 44th minute of Friday night's game against Brisbane, also receiving a shoulder charge against Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana.
After the match, Oates was taken to hospital and reports suggest he will undergo surgery today for his broken jaw. With an early guilty plea and three-game suspension if he contests the charge and loses at trial, four additional games could be forfeited.
It's not the first time an NRL player has suffered a shoulder charge. NZ Kiwis winger Rapana was given a four-game suspension after his high tackle on Canberra's Adam Doueihi during their 19-18 loss to the Cowboys in Round 2.
Todd Payten wasn't surprised by the worst news when centre Peta Hiku was caught on video making a grade two crusher tackle against Oates before their collision with Drinkwater. Additionally, centre Peta Hiku faces suspension as a result of his actions.
Even worse news for the Cowboys is a three-game ban on Peta Hiku who was charged with a grade two crusher tackle on Oates before Drinkwater's charge against him. If Hiku can reduce his ban to two weeks with an early plea, it will be an enormous blow for their season and particularly difficult for Hiku to be fit during State of Origin.
If the Cowboys can secure Drinkwater's return for Origin, it would be a major coup as he has been one of the NRL's most impressive players this season, scoring 14 try assists and crossing for 10 of his own goals to help fuel the Cowboys' comeback. With Drinkwater back on board, it would be another huge boost in their already impressive attack.
Valentine Holmes, who was also handed a three-game ban for a careless high tackle on Melbourne halfback Darren Lockyer in Round 4, suffered another blow due to NRL regulations regarding high contact. Parramatta's Maika Sivo also found himself in trouble with these strict rules on high contact when she made dangerous contact with Cronulla winger Braydon Trindall during their Round 3 win.
Though not typically featured on the NRL front page, crocodiles are an all too common sight on golf courses in North Queensland. Although these reptiles are considered harmless by most, they have been known to attack golfers when they come across them at water traps. Townsville resident Chad Townsend recently shared a photo of himself next to one such trap with a sunning croc behind him at Willows Golf Course in Townsville.
The Cowboys have suffered another setback in their quest for a third NRL premiership, as centre Peta Hiku has been given a three-game suspension by the NRL for his crushing tackle on Corey Oates during Friday night's loss to Brisbane.
Oates suffered a broken jaw in the incident and is set for surgery this afternoon. Drinkwater faces up to four matches on the sidelines for his shoulder charge on Oates that left him with a fractured jaw, while Hiku's three-game ban could be reduced down to two games.
Hiku was one of the Warriors' standout performers last season and he's off to an impressive start this campaign, scoring seven tries in four games so far. His talent and versatility have allowed him to excel across different positions on the field.
He's been an integral part of the Cowboys backline this season, with Payten using his experience to get quality minutes out of some of his bigger players. Jordan McLean and Coen Hess have found their form after struggling through first grade; Payten's decision to get these players on the field and then rest them when they become fatigued has worked wonders for the Cowboys this season.
Payten had a similar philosophy with his pack, emphasizing quality over quantity. He knew that overplaying some of his big men in first grade would only lead to mistakes defensively or missing opportunities to run when it counted most.
His pack has seen great success this season as he gives his players quality minutes when on the field and takes a similar approach with younger players. Coaches such as Tevita Pangai and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak have helped these individuals reach their full potentials.
That is how he built the Cowboys into a team that is currently second last but with an excellent chance of taking home the title this year. By surrounding his players with experienced veterans who understand all nuances of the NRL, he's given them confidence to perform at their peak performance.
The Cowboys are currently on a run of victories that has seen them climb from last to second place in the competition. There can be no doubt about it: this squad is incredibly talented. If they can build off what they've accomplished thus far, the Cowboys could well be champions by 2022.
The Cowboys must battle South Sydney this week if they want to keep their slim hopes of a third consecutive title alive. The Bunnies are coming off an impressive win against Gold Coast, and they're a highly motivated squad who have improved significantly since the start of the season.
Following an altercation with Brisbane Broncos winger Payne Haas, Oates will need surgery for a broken jaw. He has been fined $2,000 for the incident and reprimanded by the NRL integrity unit.
Haas, 22, will now likely sit out Sunday's home game against Central Coast and also his away games against Newcastle and Melbourne City due to the charge. This marks Haas' third ban this season for failing to cooperate with the NRL Integrity Unit; last year he received four match suspensions for similar infractions.
In March, Sivo was issued a two-match ban for grabbing a waitress' dress during a Fijian holiday. The Eels have been in contact with several Fijian officials as well as his lawyer to try to have the ban lifted; however, concerns have been raised that his case may now be more complex than initially believed.
On January 7, Sivo is likely to appear in court again to enter his plea. He remains under a stop travel order and won't be permitted to fly back home until his case has been resolved.
Sivo is expected to receive a fine for his offence, but is still facing the possibility of having to return to Fiji to defend himself against an indecent assault charge. He plans on asking a Fijian magistrate for permission to fly back to Sydney so he can begin pre-season training - however this has become far more complex than expected by the Eels.
The Parramatta winger was on bail in Fiji following an alleged incident at a luxury resort late on Boxing Day, but will have to appear in court on January 7. The 26-year-old is expected to enter a plea and has been given a stop travel order that prevents him from leaving until his case has been cleared up.
His legal team is working to have the charge reduced, though it remains uncertain whether they will have a chance before January 7. Nevertheless, they remain hopeful that their efforts will be rewarded with an affirmative ruling before they return to Sydney and begin pre-season training.
Sivo's meteoric rise has earned him a place of honor at the club, with 67 tries scored and an unbeatable reputation as an NRL try scorer (22 scores in 25 games) finishing as the leading try scorer with 67 goals in 67 matches.
Sivo has been extended a contract by the club for another two years, keeping him with the Eels until at least 2025. His impressive performances have earned him recognition as an iconic figure within the blue and gold community. He is seen as something of a cult hero among supporters and an integral factor in their recent successes.