THE Queanbeyan Kangaroos are set to go at least a month without some of their regular players after the Woden Valley Rams inflicted an injury crisis at Phillip District Oval last Sunday.
It comes as the west-Queanbeyan side prepares to take on arch rival the Queanbeyan Blues in the second instalment of Queanbeyan's ultimate rugby league contest on Saturday at Freebody Oval.
As many as seven regular first-graders could be out for the Kangaroos, coming off a tough 30-28 win against the Woden Valley Rams where they found themselves down to just 14 fit men.
Forward Matt Lewis went under the knife on Monday after suffering a broken jaw against the Rams, while Adam Pearce, Troy Whiley, Josh Baker, Richard Kelly, Robbie Byatt and Aidan Woods all suffered injuries too.
Lewis will spend the rest of the season on the sideline, while the other men could be out for between four and six weeks.
Coach Aaron Gorrell said the the next several weeks would be a great chance for some reserve grade players to shine.
"We've just got to make do...it's July now so it's not as though you can go and sign anyone," he said.
"Young Sione Afemui played on the weekend and I thought he was our best player, and he's only 17. We just need a few more blokes like that to step up and I'm confident we have a few."
The Blues dispatched a spirited Goulburn Workers Bulldogs side 22-12 in freezing and muddy conditions at Seiffert Oval last Saturday, and are riding a wave of confidence with a four game winning streak.
And after suffering two shock early losses, plus leap-frogging the Bulldogs to first on the Canberra Raiders Cup ladder, have fired right back into competition favouritism.
After playing such a good game in the worst of weather conditions, Blues coach Simon Woolford was very confident looking forward.
"The way forwards Levi Freeman and Michael Cullen lead the middle unit guys, the rest of the team just jumped on their back, and I couldn't be more pleased," he said.
"Being down 12-8 in those conditions is hard to peg back, but I got the feeling before the game this team is ready to fire. We've been building in the last three or four weeks now, and I don't think anyone could beat these guys at the moment."
Woolford said if his men "continue to roll their sleeves up" and over-power physical battles they could win the competition.
For the Kangaroos, Gorrell said the focus would be re-building towards the finals.