JONO O’Toole's hopes of featuring in Maitland’s finals campaign hinge on the results of an MRI on his ankle.
The NSW Country halfback played eight minutes off the bench in the Blacks’ 45-15 win over Nelson Bay but was clearly below 100 per cent.
“He had missed four games and wanted to test it out,” Maitland co-coach Ryan McCormack. “He limped around for a few minutes and pulled up sore. Fingers crossed he is right for the finals. We will know more after he gets the the MRI.”
Rookie Max Stafford has stepped up in O’Toole’s absence.
“He has had big shoes to fill and has been excellent,” McCormack said.”
On the plus side, Jye Estaheo returns from a hamstring injury against Uni.
* McCormack conceded it was weird having women play before first grade last Saturday after Nelson Bay were forced to forfeit second grade and colts. The upshot was that the women’s clash between Maitland and Wanderers was moved from the No.2 field at Marcellin to the main ground and played as a curtain raiser.
NHRU general manager Andy Fairfull said not fielding teams in two grades was “not a great look” and the board would discuss the situation.
* Winston Wilson has enjoyed his return to rugby at Lake Macquarie but the classy fullback hopes to be unavailable for the next two games. Wilson is a teacher at Redfield College in Dural and is also coach of he first XV, which meet Central Coast Grammar in the semi-final of the Independent Sports Association competition on Saturday. The final is the following week.