Gower injury sours Blues win

Penrith captain Craig Gower could miss the rest of the State of Origin series after suffering a knee injury during last night?s 9-8 win by New South Wales over Queensland at Telstra Stadium.

He?s expected to be ruled out of the Panthers side to take on the Bulldogs in what will be a crucial clash at Penrith Stadium on Sunday later today.

The Panthers can easily cover injuries to their back five and their forwards, but they lack depth in the halves, making the loss of Gower a huge blow for the defending premiers.

It?s expected that Preston Campbell will move from five-eighth to halfback, with centre Ryan Girdler taking over at pivot.

Campbell played halfback against the North Queensland Cowboys at Dairy Farmers Stadium last week and was acclaimed when playing in the position at the Sharks some years ago.

Gower snapped ligaments in his knee fifteen minutes out from full-time, an injury that normally puts players out of action for between six and eight weeks.

The Blues halfback played on until the end of the Origin match last night, and unsuccessfully attempted two field goals late in the game. Eventually, it was a Shaun Timmins one-pointer that got the Blues home.

Trainers advised Gower to leave the field but he stayed on.

It?s expected that either Sharks halfback Brett Kimmorley or Melbourne?s Matt Orford will take over the Blues? halfback role for the second State of Origin match next month.

Meanwhile, Penrith have lost promising youngster Jason Wrigley for the rest of the season. He suffered a serious knee injury against the Cowboys last week and will require surgery.