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No knock from Panthers on concussion rules

Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent NRL.com Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - 3:00 PM

Panthers hooker James Segeyaro takes on the Bulldog defence during Saturday's clash, having overcome a head knock in his previous game. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos

Penrith players say they are confident the club is compliant with the NRL's new laws regarding concussion after the governing body issued a handful of clubs with a 'please explain' following incidents in the first fortnight of the competition.

Part of the new rules include each club handing in a post-game report to the NRL reviewing each head knock situation, and of particular concern for the Panthers was a delay in replacing hooker James Segeyaro during their Round 2 clash against Melbourne.

Penrith, Canterbury and Parramatta have all been asked by the NRL to explain their on-field actions in the wake of players suffering head knocks.

Former Cowboys rake Segeyaro said while the new Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3) test was exhaustive, it was "good for the game".

"I got a knock against Melbourne and I got assessed by our doctor and to tell you the truth, it's a pretty long process," Segeyaro said on Monday.

"It took me about 15 minutes or so and I deadset wouldn't answer the questions I did if I wasn't knocked out! They tell us to balance on one leg, touch my nose and all that sort of stuff. They ask me maths, but I was never good at maths, it took me two or three times to get the answers right.

"They know what they're doing. As soon as they come out on the field, they're pretty switched on. I think you don't want to let anyone down [but] in saying that, you know if you're right or not, and so does the doctor."

Teammate David Simmons, who was heavily concussed by a shoulder charge from Bulldog Frank Pritchard in 2012, said he was pleased to see the NRL take a conservative approach to head injuries.

"I'm just concerned about players like everyone else is. I want people to finish their careers healthy and go on to do great things with their families and at work," he said.

"So I'm just glad the NRL's taken a conservative line to those injuries and hoping that people end up their careers healthy and happy."

Concussion has been a hot topic over the first few rounds of the new season, with experienced Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett telling a Sydney newspaper, "The drama queens are in play now. You've got to wait and listen to the experts."

Simmons agreed, arguing that while players would always carry the warrior mentality, it was right  for the NRL to take any decision to play on after a head knock out of their hands.

"There are some blokes that don't really care much about it and they just want to keep playing and there are other guys that might be more concerned, but it's good they've taken that decision out of their hands and they leave it up to the doctors to take care of them," he said.

"I don't know if it's overkill. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. A player always wants to stay out there, it's something that's just part of the culture. You don't want to let your team down.

"[But] I think taking the decision out of their hands is a good thing. I just hope it doesn't get abused. That's probably the next thing.

"But I think players and coaches, they respect the game enough to use it for what it is. Obviously it'll be tweaked going forward, because it's new, but it's on the right track.

"I've got all the confidence in the world behind our medical team, our coaches, and our training staff that are on the field game day. We trust them, we respect them.

"They're people that have been in the game for a long time and they know the players, and they know us. The decisions that are made I'm very confident with and happy with."

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