Melbourne Storm defeat St George Illawarra Dragons, Reimis Smith Ryan Papenhuyzen injury

Melbourne now sits at the top of the NRL table, but its 36-point thumping of the Dragons comes at a cost with superstars Reimis Smith and Ryan Papenhuyzen going down to injury.

Early in the match at AAMI Park, center Smith left the field clutching his upper chest.

With the outcome looking glum, young halfback Tyran Wishart quickly moved into the position.

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Then, after a dominant first half, Papenhuyzen came from the field after scoring his second try of the afternoon.

In latching onto a perfect Nick Meaney kick in-field on the run, Papenhuyzen pulled up lame and limped off.

The Storm later confirmed Smith had suffered a suspected torn pectoral, while Papenhuyzen sustained a low-grade hamstring strain. There are also concerns for the star fullback’s knee which he appeared to injure in the first half but continued to play on.

Speaking after the match, Papenhuyzen summed up the horror day for his legs.

“It’s a little bit disappointing, I sort of hurt my knee early on, hurt my ankle and finished it off with a little hammy so not ideal but a bit of a silver lining – it will probably give me a bit more time to fix these niggles and come back a bit fresher,” he told Fox League.

“(It’s) definitely torn, it just depends on what grade. (My) knee’s jammed up a little bit as well and my ankles just been from a few weeks ago so I’ll just get all of them right and do the right rehab .

“We’re lucky we have a lot of depth in the side, the team’s flying and we’ve got a few really nice wins on the board – and a good one today – so no stress, just look at the positives and get everything right.”

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In control for the entire game, Storm coach Craig Bellamy told the media that in hindsight, he would have pulled Papenhuyzen from the match earlier.

“If I knew what I know now I would definitely have taken him off – but we knew he wasn’t going to be involved like what he is with the ball, but we just saw that we were 12 points up to organise our defence. We thought that was pretty important for us,” he said.

“If it had been 18-nill we might have taken him off.

“I’m not quite sure that that knee – even if he hadn’t done the hamstring – whether he’d be playing in the next couple of weeks anyway, so he’s got a couple of injuries to deal with.

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“We’re going to have to find ourselves a fullback for the next couple of weeks.”

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