Manly hope for best on latest halves blow

Scott Bailey

Manly face another week of uncertainty around their cursed No.6 jersey, after Dylan Walker hyper-extended his knee late in the Sea Eagles' 22-20 loss to the Sydney Roosters.

Walker played on following the injury, but hobbled out of the Sea Eagles' sheds after the match.

The Manly five-eighth was hit slightly above the knees by Roosters winger Joseph Manu's head as he attempted to remain upright in a three-man tackle, before he was taken to ground.

Coach Trent Barrett is confident he will be fit to take on Brisbane next week, but it will again prompt questions over a possible return to first grade for exiled playmaker Jackson Hastings.

It comes after a week of speculation at Brookvale, following the season-ending knee injury to regular five-eighth Lachlan Croker suffered last week.

Barrett also has an option in youngster Tom Wright, who the coach revealed on Saturday would likely play five-eighth at some point this year.

However the Sea Eagles mentor also said he would prefer not to blood him during their current losing streak.

The streak is now at five losses, and dates back to their infamous Gladstone trip, when skipper Daly Cherry-Evans and Hastings were involved in a brawl.

Manly officials called for a penalty at the time of the Walker incident for a cannonball, however replays showed the initial contact was made above the knee and was therefore legal.

Regardless, a frustrated Barrett revealed he had spoken NRL referees general manager Tony Archer about the issue last week.

"There's a fair few creeping into the game. And they are dangerous," Barrett said.

"I'm not sitting in here to whinge or anything. But if we had of lost Walker there with a knee injury, or if we do - he hyper-extended his knee pretty bad - it's just a dangerous tackle and there are more and more of them creeping in.

"It's an awful one."

Meanwhile Roosters coach Trent Robinson came to the defence of Manu after there were several replays shown of the tackle.

"It's cause it hit him on the quad above the knee, that's why (it wasn't a penalty)," he said.

"I'm sure they had a long enough time to look at that, but it was pretty clear that he went in and his head hit him above the quad. That's the rules."