Munster in Origin doubt after Magic Round groin agony

Murray Wenzel |

Cameron Munster has suffered another groin injury and is in doubt for the Origin series opener.
Cameron Munster has suffered another groin injury and is in doubt for the Origin series opener.

Craig Bellamy is hopeful Cameron Munster’s groin injury may not be as bad as initially suspected after the five-eighth went down in Melbourne’s Magic Round walloping of Parramatta.

Munster’s State of Origin hopes appeared to have been thrown into severe doubt when he pulled up in agonising pain attempting a tackle just before the half in the Storm’s 48-16 win on Sunday.

Cameras capturing the No.6 in tears in the dressing room post-game, but Storm coach Bellamy is crossing his fingers the Storm could still receive good news on their star player.

“When it first happened, I think the medical staff thought it was fairly serious, or not good at all,” Bellamy said.

“But I don’t think they think it’s quite that bad now. But what that means, I don’t know and I don’t think we’ll know until he gets scans.”

The five-eighth had battled the injury in the pre-season and missed the first month of the Storm’s NRL campaign as he managed the complaint he says was caused by a slip in the shower.

He’ll have scans on Monday, Queensland’s Origin opener on June 5 in Sydney is fast approaching and North Queensland’s Tom Dearden looms as the Maroons star’s replacement to partner captain Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves if Munster is unavailable.

“(Munster) is a passionate bugger, especially with Origin coming up,” Bellamy said.

“He’ll be upset … (but) it won’t just be about what he can’t do or can do. The team’s not going to be as good with the situation he’s in.

“It’s going to be hard for him but we’ll all support him.”

The Storm (8-2) moved clear into second, jumping Penrith after their loss to the Warriors earlier on Sunday.

The Eels slumped to 3-7, boasting just one win from seven games without the hobbled Mitchell Moses (foot).

Late fades have become a theme for Parramatta, who have lost all of their last four second halves.

“The second half was embarrassing,” said Eels coach Brad Arthur.

“We just fell in a hole for a period of 10 or 15 minutes, lacked resilience in that period and we just kept digging the hole deeper at times. We’d fight out of it for a bit but the damage was done.”

Hooker Harry Grant was a man on a mission in the first half for Melbourne, his bullet pass hitting Tui Kamikamica on the chest for the first try.

Flying Parramatta winger Bailey Simonsson replied, finishing a sweeping movement in the right corner.

The game burst to life when Will Warbrick evaded three tackles to score from nothing. 

Will Warbrick.
Will Warbrick streaks away to score under the posts for the Storm against Parramatta. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

Grant had a try of his own soon after when he regathered Xavier Coates’ infield kick.

Eels fullback Blaize Talagi, bloodied by an earlier head clash with Coates, then sliced through from a scrum and it was 16-10 to Melbourne at the break.

Grant wasn’t deterred by Munster’s sudden exit, muscling over for his second eight minutes into the half.

Reimis Smith then went bang-bang, two run-away tries inside three minutes down the left flank making it 34-10.

Coates then emphatically sealed the deal with an 85-metre intercept try before making his own try-saving tackle for good measure.

Back-rower Eliesa Katoa then iced the night with a brilliant chase and mark of a Storm bomb for Melbourne’s eighth try.

Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona was reported for a cannon-ball tackle in the first half.