Robbo eyes new halves combo with Keary ‘unlikely’
SYDNEY Roosters are resigned to losing star five-eighth Luke Keary for Thursday's Anzac Day match at the Sydney Cricket Ground - and the replacement could be a surprise.
Rookie Lachlan Lam is being considered to replace Keary for what Roosters coach Trent Robinson claims is the "most significant day of the year as an Australian and Kiwi".
Keary suffered concussion against Melbourne Storm last Friday night and is unlikely to play because of the short turnaround.
"I don't think Keary will make it," Robinson said. "That's my gut feeling.
"He's good but I don't think he'll make it just because of the short turnaround.
"Luke was very good after the game. You could see he puts his hands down when he got knocked backwards, so it wasn't one of those bad concussions.
"He's not concerned about it but there is a precaution of a six-day turnaround and making sure he gets his full recovery."
Star centre Latrell Mitchell shifted to five-eighth during last week's dramatic win over Melbourne and was brilliant.
But Robinson isn't sure whether Mitchell will play in the No.6 or whether Lam will make his starting debut.
"It's between Latrell and Lachie Lam," Robinson said. "I'll run with Latrell with Lachie off the bench. I think that's the way I will go.
"But I am still having a look at St George Illawarra (on video) today. Lachie is getting close to starting at some point."
Asked if this was the match to start Lam, Robinson said: "I don't know, not sure. We had a discussion yesterday.
"I probably wouldn't tell you anyway. They will both be playing. It's just a matter of who I start."
The Roosters also look set to again be without injured wingers Brett Morris and Ryan Hall, as well as forward Isaac Liu.
Prop Siosiua Taukeiaho withdrew from last week's game and he too remains in doubt to play St George Illawarra.
Skipper Jake Friend injured his neck against Parramatta in round three and will have to be passed fit at training on Tuesday to take his place in the side.
"We always targeted this game for 'Friendy' but he needs to do contact to get passed fit," Robinson said. "He will train with the intention to play.
"He's been doing wrestle and contact but actually needs team contact. I will name him (today) but he will be under question until he finishes that afternoon session.
"'B Moz' won't get there, Ryan Hall won't get there. I have to check on Siosiua, he pulled out of the (Storm) game. He hasn't trained since he pulled out.
"Isaac Liu has a broken finger and won't be right for this game, either. He got operated on last week."
Roosters centre Joseph Manu will return from suspension.
A big crowd will watch what is always an inspiring and emotional 80 minutes in rugby league. The atmosphere will only increase this year at the traditional SCG.
"It's great that we get to play on that day," Robinson said. "It's the most significant day of the year as an Australian and Kiwi and we get to go and represent rugby league.
"That's the real proud moment. For us to play on this day, we are blessed every year."