Tigers fear Hastings' NRL season over

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Jackson Hastings' NRL season is over after scans confirmed an alleged hip-drop tackle left the Wests Tigers star with a fractured ankle.

The Tigers confirmed on Sunday that Hastings would require surgery on his ankle after the tackle from Brisbane forward Patrick Carrigan, ending his year early.

In the closing stages of the Tigers' upset win over Brisbane, Carrigan entered a tackle late and fell onto Hastings' lower leg, leaving the lock forward to limp from the field in visible pain.

Carrigan has since been charged with dangerous contact and referred straight to the NRL judiciary, facing the prospect of a lengthy ban.

Interim coach Brett Kimmorley said hip-drop tackles could cause serious damage and needed to be abolished from the game.

"It's a horrendous tackle and the outcome can be really bad," he said.

"It's something that's crept into the game a little bit."

The injury will force Kimmorley to tinker with his spine yet again.

Hastings' shift from halfback to lock three weeks ago revitalised the Tigers' attack but now Joe Ofahengaue looks set to move back there for the remainder of the season.

Hastings' injury also appears to have confirmed Jock Madden will finish the season in the halves alongside Adam Doueihi.

Madden has replaced the injured Luke Brooks at halfback and Hastings appeared to be the only one with the chance of displacing him before season's end.

With Brisbane now behind Melbourne in fifth place, the potential suspension of young forwards leader Carrigan would be a major blow in the Broncos' run to the playoffs.

After Kimmorley's first win in charge of the Tigers, captain James Tamou lauded the interim coach for bringing a "more simplistic" game plan to the club.

"Noddy said from the start, 'If you want to buy in, I'll take you where you want to go'," Tamou said.

"From day one he's put his foot down and it's worked. This is just one win but it's the gradual improvement that's happened over the last month.

"Now is not the time to pat each other on the back though. Hopefully we can keep building on this for the last month and go a bit further."

The win lifted Wests from the bottom of the ladder and ended a four-match winning streak by the Broncos, tipping them out of the top four in the process.

Kimmorley said victory was a deserved reward for his team after a month in which they also pushed premiership contenders Penrith and Parramatta before being controversially denied against second-placed North Queensland.

Kimmorley, who has just returned from COVID isolation, admitted his side could have fallen into a heap without Brooks but their courageous five-tries-to-three effort showed plenty of promise.

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