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The NRL today warned clubs that the concussion rules would be enforced stringently during the upcoming Finals series.
Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said there would be additional pressure for players to stay on the field during semi-finals and finals to help get their teams through to the next round.
But he said the NRL would continue to monitor and breach any clubs which put their players at risk.
“The welfare of our players is too important to risk because of any game of football,” Mr Greenberg said.
“So clubs will be expected to put aside the importance of the Finals and remove players from the field for assessment if they suffer head knocks.”
Mr Greenberg said the NRL had today breached and fined the North Queensland Cowboys $20,000 following an investigation into an incident involving Tariq Sims in Round 20.
He said the Cowboys should have taken Sims from the field in the 69th minute when he showed clear signs of suffering a head injury.
The NRL has suspended $10,000 of the fine in line with the penalties imposed on the Wests Tigers and Bulldogs earlier this year.
The Cowboys will be liable to pay the additional $10,000 if there are any further breaches of the concussion rules in the next 12 months.
"This fine should act as a timely reminder to clubs that we expect the NRL’s concussion rules to be followed if players suffer head knocks,” Mr Greenberg said.
“We believe the concussion rules have generally been enforced by the clubs this year and we are adamant that this must continue through the Finals series.”