Penrith’s NRL finals campaign became a lot tougher with news on Friday night that superstar winger Brian To’o has been ruled out of Saturday’s semi-final clash against Parramatta.
To’o failed to overcome an ankle injury which has moved Brent Naden to the wing. Despite winning six of their last eight encounters against the Eels, the loss of the Blues star could have a huge flow-on effect within the team, warned Andrew Johns.
“This is a massive out,” Johns told Nine on Friday night after hearing of the To’o news.
“Big games, semi-finals, generally there’s less errors less penalties so you need your wingers rolling forward to get the sets rolling.
“This is a massive out because he’s their best go-forward man. This brings them back to the pack a lot.”
Panthers physio Pete Green spoke in further detail about To’o’s injury.
“Bizza finished last week’s game against Souths with some general ankle pain and irritation and has been fighting all week to get back to 100 per cent,” Green told the Panthers’ website.
“After a fitness test yesterday we made a decision to rest Bizza for the game tonight and give him every chance to perform at his best hopefully in coming weeks.”
Meanwhile the Eels will welcome back Ryan Matterson and Nathan Brown is expected to be fit to play after battling a leg cork last week.
For the Eels history is against them for tonight’s clash against Penrith, with Parramatta failing to win back-to-back finals games since their infamous run in 2009.