Major Blow to Roosters as Billy Smith Sidelined for Semifinal Against Storm


The Roosters roster will be critically impacted as they head towards the semi-final against the Storm on Friday, with the loss of their highly-skilled player Billy Smith due to a fractured jaw. This significant injury to Smith happened briefly into the second half of the Sharks match on Saturday when he was on the receiving end of a striking headshot from fellow player Tom Hazelton.

Despite the injury, Smith continued on the field showing remarkable resilience. He even achieved the first goal of his National Rugby League career, breaking the tie to make the score 12-all during the second half. The unfortunate news was confirmed by the club’s medical team on Monday, adding to a growing list of casualties including Daniel Tupou, Joseph Manu and Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii, who are sidelined due to knee, hamstring and concussion injuries respectively.

Such a flurry of injuries leaves the team heavily dependent on Captain James Tedesco, who stands as the surviving member from what once was a formidable backline. Tedesco, having overcome a similar jaw injury in 2016, commended Smith’s bravery and resilience.

The club captain reminisced about the unfortunate incident: “Smith demonstrated remarkable grit to carry on with the game. The hit he took was unforgiving, and he felt its impact even after the game. It’s a considerable blow for us all as Smith had been consistently improving and adding value to the team week after week.”

Smith’s significant progress this season compared to the past three years combined emphasizes the disappointing timing of the injury. The recent setback for Smith builds on a lengthy history of injuries he has managed to overcome with remarkable resilience. “No doubt, this setback is a blow, but he’s handled worse and bounced back,” Tedesco added.

In a sign of his commitment to the team and determination to ensure his fitness, Smith gave up drinking and followed a strict diet this year, earning the praises of his colleagues. Tedesco lauded Smith’s transformation saying, “His performance this year aptly showcases his potential, and this is just the beginning for him. His ability to play through such pain is nothing short of awe-inspiring.”

Victor Radley, the resolute lock for the Roosters, voiced optimism about Smith’s potential return if the team could overcome the Storm and Penrith to reach the grand final. Describing Smith as ‘tough as nails’, Radley hinted at a possible comeback this season.

Reminiscing about the incident, Radley marvels, “Despite taking a hard hit, he managed to soldier on and maintain an impressive performance. His fearless attitude and ability to drive results under pressure distinctly make him a formidable force.”

As Smith is precluded from play, it appears likely that Junior Pauga and Jaxson Paulo will be stepping in, taking up positions on the wings. Subsequently, Corey Allan and Drew Hutchison may likely form the centre for the excursion to Melbourne.


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