Manly’s Olakau’atu faces ban for high shot

Manly are set to be without back-rower Haumole Olakau’atu for next week’s game with South Sydney after he was charged for a careless high tackle on Cronulla’s Aiden Tolman.

Olakau’atu was sin-binned for the incident in the 29th minute of Manly’s 34-22 loss on Thursday and has been handed a grade two charge.

The forward can miss a week if he takes an early guilty plea but will face a two-week suspension if he opts to fight the charge and loses at the NRL judiciary.

His absence could not have come at a worse time for Manly, with Rabbitohs up next in Gosford on Friday.

The Sea Eagles are already without fullback Tom Trbojevic (knee), talented youngster Josh Schuster (ankle) and prop Josh Aloiai (shoulder).

Props Sean Keppie (concussion) and Martyn Taupau (COVID-19) also missed the Sharks game.

To make matters worse, front-rower Taniela Paseka, second-rower Andrew Davey and utility Dylan Walker all picked up injuries against the Sharks.

“Taniela is a medial (ligament) and Dylan Walker has nudged that quad injury again,” coach Des Hasler said.

“Andrew Davey’s is an AC joint (shoulder) so those three would be doubtful.

“With a long turnaround Andrew might be a chance but the other two won’t take the field.”

The absence of Schuster after he underwent ankle surgery in February has hurt Manly’s creativity out wide.

The 20-year-old hasn’t been sighted in first grade this season but Hasler was hopeful he would be available again soon.

“He’s due back in the next couple of weeks from his syndesmosis,” he said.

“There’s no delay, it was a big op.”

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