Maroons enforcer Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is facing a nervous wait after a forearm on Blues hooker Apisai Koroisau left him with a suspected broken jaw.
Fa’asuamaleaui’s elbow struck Koroisau in the 14th minute of the Titans and Tigers’ Thursday night clash before the dummy-half instantly ran from the field.
Queensland legend Corey Parker later confirmed Brad Fittler’s worst fears while Fa’asuamaleaui was placed on report.
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The 23-year-old has previously been handed a $1800 fine for a dangerous contact charge in Round 12 when his elbow collected Bulldogs skipper Reed Mahoney.
While the Blues will now be without their first-choice No.9, Billy Slater will be waiting eagerly for the charge sheet to determine whether he can select the hulking Titans forward.
However league legends Greg Alexander and Cooper Cronk believe Fa’asuamaleaui will be free to play in Game II of the 2023 Origin series.
“I don’t know how much trouble Tino is in, I thought his bump on Reed Mahoney was probably worse than that one,” Alexander said.
“Unfortunately Api has got himself in the wrong position, the bumpers go up from Tino and strike him in the jaw.”
“I’ve never taken a hit-up in my life, but I think once you go sideways, if you keep (your arm) quite vertical I think you’re okay, I am with ‘Brandy’, it is probably on the lesser side to the Reed Mahoney one,” Cronk said.
“If it flicks over to anything more than a fine he is going to have to miss (Origin) or he is going to have to fight it.”
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However, Sharks forward Wade Graham wasn’t so sure and explained the fact Koroisau suffered a serious injury could complicate the charge.
Mahoney left the field for a HIA following Fa’asuamaleaui’s elbow in Round 12 but was cleared of concussion and returned to the field.
“I think the only worrying thing is he did have the Reed Mahoney issue and I think we’ve seen in the past, because Api is now injured, we have seen that come into the equation,” Graham said.
“But I am with you boys, I don’t think there was too much in it. Looked like he just had the bumpers up and was protecting him in the contact.”