Injured Josh Addo-Carr.
Josh Addo-Carr went down with a shoulder injury in a worrying sign for the well-beaten Bulldogs. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Addo-Carr grounded, Moses hurt as Eels beat Bulldogs

Scott Bailey March 9, 2024

Canterbury fear Josh Addo-Carr has “broken something” in his right shoulder after the flying winger was put in a sling during the Bulldogs’ 26-8 loss to Parramatta.

On an afternoon when Eels No.7 Mitch Moses was left battling a groin injury, it was the Bulldogs who felt the pain most in front of a crowd of 29,171 at Commbank Stadium.

In a brutal start to the season for the Bulldogs, Addo-Carr left the field at halftime and did not return amid fears of damage to his right acromioclavicular joint.

Josh Addo-Carr with his right arm in a sling.
 Addo-Carr emerged after halftime with his right arm in a sling. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

“He’s not great,” Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo said. 

“He’s going for scans tonight. He could have something broken up in the shoulder. It was tough of him to play through to halftime.

“We have prepared for everything in terms of guys shifting around. We have a lot of versatile players.”

In another blow, Viliame Kikau was placed on report for dangerous contact on Parramatta’s Dylan Brown, although it is unlikely he will face a ban.

The Bulldogs spent almost the entire game defending their own line, before two late tries added respectability to the score.

Such was Parramatta’s dominance, the Eels controlled 60 per cent of the ball and had more than 50 play-the-balls inside the Bulldogs’ defensive 20-metre zone.

Mitch Moses (right).
 A groin injury for Mitch Moses (right) was the only blot on a season-opening win for the Eels. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

While the prognosis does not look good for Addo-Carr, the Eels hold out better hope for his NSW State of Origin teammate Moses.

The halfback pulled up when passing the ball early in the first half, and later required strapping on his groin and medication.

He was deemed fine to stay on the field and now has six days to be fully fit for Friday night’s blockbuster derby against Penrith.

“I thought about (bringing him off), but the guys told me he was OK,” coach Brad Arthur said.

“Mitch said he would be right and get himself through. 

“I wasn’t real impressed when he was kicking at the back end of the game, but he said he needed to do that to get the win.”

Moses’s injury was just about the only concern for the Eels.

From the moment Canterbury fullback Blake Taaffe dropped the ball on his first kick return, Parramatta spent the game camped on the Bulldogs’ line.

No moment summed up the visitors’ plight better than when Addo-Carr was put into touch in the 35th minute, unable to fend off Sean Russell thanks to his injured shoulder.

From the following set, Junior Paulo put on a bullocking run close to the line and Bryce Cartwright hit a hole on the next play to score and ensure a 14-0 halftime lead.

Bryce Cartwright.
 Bryce Cartwright scored two tries in a livewire performance for the dominant Eels. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

Paulo and Cartwright were immense for the Eels, with the duo combining for another try in the second half.

Paulo again hit the line close in, before offloading for Ryan Matterson to put on an out-the-back offload for Cartwright to score his second.

Morgan Harper had scored the Eels’ first 12 minutes in when he ran onto a Dylan Brown grubberkick, and Bailey Simonsson added the final flourish off the back of a Blake Wilson error.

Canterbury were gutsy in defence given the territorial imbalance, but the same questions remain from last year.

They were soundly beaten in yardage, while their only points came in the final 16 minutes.

Wilson had one try when Drew Hutchison spread the ball right, while Stephen Crichton scored on the more dangerous left when Kikau sent him over.