NRL: Neck injury ends Williams' season

David Williams of the Sea Eagles receives attention from the trainers. Photo / Getty Images
David Williams of the Sea Eagles receives attention from the trainers. Photo / Getty Images

The fallout of Manly's impressive victory over NRL rivals Melbourne continued on Saturday, with winger David Williams ruled out for the season with a broken neck.

The Sea Eagles confirmed on Saturday Williams' season was over after he suffered a fracture of the sixth vertebra - which is likely to sideline the former international for six months.

In a further blow to Manly, star fullback Brett Stewart has suffered a medial ligament injury to his left knee and could miss up to two weeks.

He will have scans on Monday which will reveal the extent of the damage.

Williams suffered the horrific injury in the first half, when he collided with Melbourne fullback Billy Slater while trying to score a try.

After a lengthy delay in the game, Williams was carried from the field on a stretcher with his neck placed in a protective brace.

Williams and Stewart appear certain to be two forced changes to the Sea Eagles line-up for next Sunday's final round clash with Brisbane, but Manly coach Des Hasler hinted he could rest some of his weary stars.

The Sea Eagles ensured second spot on the ladder with an epic 18-4 win over the Storm, the result allowing Hasler the luxury of freshening up his squad ahead of the finals.

Glenn Stewart faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines for his role in the wild sideline brawl which resulted in him and Melbourne backrower Adam Blair being sent off.

And even if he is able to recover from his knee injury, Brett Stewart will also come under heavy scrutiny after he sprinted 30 metres to be the first to join in the fight.

Asked if he would likely rest some players for the Broncos clash, Hasler said: "Yeah, that's a fair call. There's a few players there that have been resting and rotating through so they'll get that opportunity to play next week," Hasler said.

"Obviously there's no certainty (Will) Hopoate will be right next week either.

"It's important from that point of view that we got the win tonight."

Hopoate hasn't played since injuring his knee a fortnight ago against Parramatta, and is racing the clock to be fit for the finals.

- AAP

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