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Canberra could lose three of their best for preliminary final

“Personally I don’t think it was bad at all. I couldn’t see his head at the time so I got worried for a little bit that I might get sent off. But then when I re-watched it I thought that was a bit soft.

In doubt: Nick Cotric comes off injured after accidentally copping a boot to the face.

In doubt: Nick Cotric comes off injured after accidentally copping a boot to the face.Credit:AAP

“I don’t think I’ll miss a week. I’ll be pissed off if I do and I’ll be telling Stick [coach Ricky Stuart] to go in firing if it has to go to the tribunal but surely not.”

Tapine said there was “definitely no malice” tackling his “good mate”.

“It was accidental. Brendon’s arm went back a bit and they said report for chicken wing. We’ll have a look at it, there was no intention or anything, he’s a good mate,” Tapine said.

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“I hope it doesn’t cost me. It’s an important time of the year and some people get off with worse than that so we’ll see.”

Canberra and NSW winger Cotric accidentally copped a boot to the face while trying to tackle fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen in the first half.

The NSW representative broke his nose and failed a head injury assessment. He didn’t return to the game.

Raiders centre Joey Leilua wasn’t able to start the game after he injured his eye while running on to the field through fireworks.

Medical staff were able to remove a piece of black pyrotechnic shell from Leilua’s left eye and he played off the bench.

The Raiders were at virtually full strength heading into the game, with Hudson Young (suspended) the only one of their best 17 players who was unavailable.

Canberra host the preliminary final in two weeks.

AAP

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