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JWH a huge loss for Roosters, says Cordner

Boyd Cordner rates Sydney Roosters teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves as the premier front-rower in rugby league and admits his absence from Saturday's NRL final against Manly is a major blow.
JWH a huge loss for Roosters, says Cordner
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Sept 12 AAP - Boyd Cordner rates Sydney Roosters teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves as the premier front-rower in rugby league and admits his absence from Saturday's NRL final against Manly is a major blow.

But Cordner remains hopeful his teammates can beat the Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium and keep alive Waerea-Hargreaves' hopes of playing in the finals series.

The Kiwi prop was slugged with a one-game ban at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday after failing to overturn a dangerous contact charge following his forearm to the throat of South Sydney's Chris McQueen in last Friday's minor premiership decider.

Cordner, who's been sidelined with syndesmosis since last month, is on target to be back in action for the preliminary final should the Roosters beat Manly and secure a week off.

But the 21-year-old NSW back-rower said his side would sorely miss Waerea-Hargreaves' aggression against a vastly experienced Manly side competing in a ninth successive finals campaign.

"It was Sonny Bill's best game of the year against Souths, but I thought Jared was unreal for us," Cordner told AAP.

"He just showed again why, in my opinion, he's currently the best front-rower in the game. He's a massive loss for us."

It is the second time Waerea-Hargreaves has been suspended this season after being given a five-week layoff following his send-off against the Sea Eagles for a shoulder charge to the head of George Rose.

The Roosters lost two of their five games during his absence but Cordner said it proved they could cope without him.

"But we have played and won without Jared before, but the boys will definitely have to step up and share the workload as he is a vital part of the team," he said.

Cordner said he's making good progress from the tightrope surgery he underwent to reattach the ligaments to the bone using wire inside the joint.

However, he said watching from the sidelines was proving to be as hard as the punishing rehabilitation he's undergoing to get him back on the field.

"I am a week away from running I am hoping to get two weeks of running under my belt before I play," he said.

"It's been pretty heavy stuff with the physio, but I know it's going to get me where I want to be.

"With the team we have and the chance we have of winning something this year, the timing of the injury was pretty shattering.

"Last Friday was the hardest game I had to watch ... it made me hungrier to get out there as it was semi-final football.

"Watching Jared and Sonny going at it in front of that big crowd ... it's the games you want to play in."


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