If Pirates are to win their 32nd consecutive match when the travel to Moree on Saturday, they will do so with a side hit hard by player losses.
Pirates coach Mat Kelly can’t remember a time in the past two seasons, as the side claimed back-to-back premiership, when such an injury pall had enveloped them.
“We’re sort of blessed that we’ve got out in front, and it’s better to get them now,” he said. “But it’s been a long time since we’ve been hit with this amount of injuries.
“We’ve sort of been blessed the last couple of years. And this year just seems to be a bad year for it.
“So we’ll make do. Everyone’s who’s stepped up has played well.”
Those out injured for the top-of-the-table clash are Andrew Moodie, Brendan Rixon, Lewyn Rapana and Doug Biffin.
Front-rowers Andrew Collins (Country duties) and Ben Goodman (work) will also be absent, as will James Trappel (overseas).
Tamworth play the Barbarians away on Saturday.