SENIOR Sea Eagles players have declared that star forward Glenn Stewart's knee injury won't derail the club's premiership defence.
Scans revealed that Stewart, arguably the most effective forward in the NRL, suffered a partial tear to his medial ligament in an awkward tackle during Monday night's loss to the Storm.
It is expected to sideline the NSW Origin star for between three to four weeks.
"You can't replace someone like Glenn Stewart," five-eighth Kieran Foran said during a pool session.
"He is a big loss but we are confident we can get the wins without him.
"We've go to all step up another level now."
Foran said while everyone in the competition knows just what a good ballplayer Stewart is, he also does a lot of the tough stuff and a lot of cleaning up.
"He is just an 80-minute all-round player, he provides a lot of attack for us on the right side," Foran said.
Co-captain Jamie Lyon said while Stewart was one of the best players in the competition, the club has the players who can fill in.
And the Sea Eagles could not have called on a better replacement for Sunday's game with the Roosters at Allianz Stadium than Jamie Buhrer.
"He has that leg speed around the ruck and has good footwork at the line," Foran said.
"And he gives us the go forward on the left-hand side there."
Foran said the Sea Eagles haven't been able to string any games together with their strongest squad this season because of injuries or suspensions.
"But in saying that we have still done enough to be sitting in the eight," Foran said.
"So I'm quietly confident towards the back half of the year if we can get our strongest 17 on the paddock and we can start to build some momentum then we can give this thing a good shake."
Lyon said the Sea Eagles can definitely challenge the top NRL oufits when they get to full strength.
"It's a tight competition and there are a number of teams that can win it - and we class ourselves as one of those," Lyon said.