Matai to miss crucial Cowboys clash
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 6:50p.m.
By Australia Correspondent Rachel Morton
Manly centre Steve Matai will miss Friday's sudden death final against the Cowboys.
The Kiwis international was charged for a careless tackle against Canterbury winger and test team-mate Sam Perrett, and it's another young New Zealander who will need to step up in his absence.
Matai pleaded guilty to a careless high tackle from Friday night's loss to the Bulldogs, and that means a one-game ban - it would have been two weeks had Manly contested the charge and lost, thanks to Matai's poor track record at the judiciary, and that would have ruled him out for the grand final qualifier should Manly survive.
But coach Geoff Toovey says Manly can win against the in form Cowboys without him.
“We've been without some key players throughout this year with injury and suspension and we'll get through this game as well,” says Toovey.
Young New Zealander Dean Whare is expected to take Matai's place as centre.
The race is on for co-captain and fellow centre Jamie Lyon to overcome a calf injury - it should be known in the next day or two if he'll take the field.
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