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NRL: Eels win comes at a cost

Parramatta began the 2022 NRL campaign with a thrilling 32-28 win over the Gold Coast but hat-trick hero Sean Russell is facing a spell out with broken ribs.

The Eels are priced at 11/1 to win the 2022 NRL grand final and got the season off to a great start in front of over 18,000 supporters at Commbank Stadium.

Russell injury blow

Teenage winger Russell grabbed a first-half hat-trick but suffered broken ribs as he went over for the third try and had to go to hospital after the game.

Coach Brad Arthur admits he is now struggling for replacements on the wing and says some of the younger boys will have to step up to the plate.

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"He (Russell) has gone to hospital with broken ribs," Arthur said. "He did a nice job finishing off some nice movements. Our NSW Cup boys played well yesterday.

"We'll go back and find out what's wrong with Sean. Where we are as a squad, I think the next bloke will just have to step up and do his job."

Sexton shines for Titans

In the other camp coach Justin Holbrook saluted the performance of young halfback Toby Sexton who impressed when stepping in for AJ Brimson.

Brimson missed out with a groin issue but should be back next week.

"I thought he was great," Holbrook said of Sexton. "It was hard in the fact we spent all pre-season with AJ in the halves and then unfortunately AJ just couldn't get right for this game.

"That made it a lot harder for Toby. Will (Smith) was outstanding and was one of our best.

"I'd say he (Brimson) would be back next week. It was too big a risk to risk him not being right today and letting it snowball into next week."

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