NRL fans in disbelief as Mitchell Moses joins Nathan Cleary in 'absolute carnage'

Parramatta and Penrith have both lost their talismanic halfbacks.

The Parramatta Eels will be without Mitchell Moses for up to two months after scans revealed the halfback suffered a fractured foot in their win over Manly. Moses joined a number of high-profile superstars on the injured list on Monday, just hours after it was revealed that Nathan Cleary has a hamstring issue.

The Panthers confirmed that Cleary sustained the injury against the Broncos last week and won't be named to take on the Roosters on Thursday night. Cleary has revealed he is a small chance to only miss one game, but it is more likely the Panthers will put him on ice until after their bye in round six.

Mitchell Moses, Nathan Cleary and Reece Walsh.
Mitchell Moses, Nathan Cleary and Reece Walsh are all out injured. Image: Getty/AAP

Just two hours after the Cleary news was revealed, it also came to light that Moses has a fractured foot. The Eels released a statement on Monday evening confirming that Moses is expected to miss up to eight weeks with the injury, which will put a serious dent in Parramatta's campaign.

Moses will also be battling to win State of Origin selection after the 29-year-old played the last two games for NSW in 2023. Moses' selection for the Blues came about because Cleary was out injured at the time - also with a hamstring complaint.

Mitchell Moses, pictured here in the Eels' win over Manly.
Mitchell Moses fractured his foot in the Eels' win over Manly. (Getty Images)

Cleary is the clear front-runner to play No.7 for the Blues this year, but Moses had emerged as a candidate to partner him in the halves at five-eighth. He will undergo surgery and be racing the clock to be in consideration for a spot in the Origin set-up this year. If he misses the full eight weeks, the halfback will return with only one game to prove himself before teams are selected for the series opener in Sydney on June 5.

The injury will also have serious ramifications for the Eels, who are desperate to atone for their disappointing campaign in 2023. Daejarn Asi filled in at five-eighth when Dylan Brown missed seven games through suspension last season and is the most likely candidate to replace Moses.


Panthers to be without Nathan Cleary for up to a month

As for Cleary, the Panthers halfback left the field in the final 10 minutes against the Broncos, but didn't show any signs of injury. The Panthers later denied reports he had suffered a hamstring injury, but backflipped on Monday afternoon and confirmed the news.

The hamstring injury is thought to be minor, but Cleary will still likely miss 2-4 weeks as a result. The Panthers are expected to release a formal update on Cleary's condition on Tuesday, but he won't be named to take on the Roosters in a blockbuster clash. Former Canberra playmaker Brad Schneider is expected to make his club debut for the Panthers in Cleary's place, lining up next to Jarome Luai in the halves.

Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui is out for the rest of the season after doing his ACL. (Getty Images)

NRL fans react after superstars go down injured

NRL fans were left in disbelief over the injury carnage that has unfolded this week. Cleary and Moses join Reece Walsh, Payne Haas and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui as high-profile players on the sidelines.

Broncos stars Walsh and Haas are both out for 4-6 weeks with a facial fracture and knee injury respectively, while Titans captain Fa'asuamaleaui is out for the entire season after doing his ACL. Fa'asuamaleaui's injury is the last thing the Titans need after slumping to 0-2 on the season with a thrashing at the hands of the Bulldogs.

“That’s a massive blow for the Gold Coast Titans... it’s their skipper gone,” Cameron Smith said on SEN radio on Monday. “If you look at the performances of that entire squad over the last couple of years, he’s been the shining light.”