Safety first with Burgess concussion
South Sydney captain Sam Burgess says club doctors were extra cautious with a head knock he suffered in his team's 20-6 loss to the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night after his previous head injury assessment (HIA) five days prior in a win over Newcastle.
On that occasion, Burgess was taken off after 31 minutes, passed his HIA check and started the second half in a tight 24-18 win.
On Thursday, Burgess reeled out of a collision with Roosters back-rower Isaac Liu in which the Rabbitohs lock – while attempting to tackle Liu – collected the Rooster's shoulder on his jaw.
Burgess was only briefly dazed and waved away the trainer, playing on for a set in defence before a sideline assessment of the footage deemed he needed to come off for a HIA check.
"Sammy was obviously concussed there," his coach Michael Maguire said after the game.
"The assessment was made. He came off after they assessed him and had an understanding of what went on [from] the sideline. We checked him again at half-time and the doctor basically came and said he won't go back out so that was the call."
Burgess said it was disappointing to have to leave the field but understood the measures are there to protect players.
"You never do [want to come off] as a player – I felt all right on the field," he said.
"The medical staff said after review that I should leave the field so I followed their instruction and unfortunately failed the test at half-time.
"It's there to protect the players. It's disappointing but it's what we have to do now as players."
Asked about the confusion where it was initially reported Burgess had passed the check, he added: "I think I got up to the final stages of it but I also had a head test last week as well which they took into account so two in close, the doctors ruled me out."
Maguire lamented a horror first half completion rate of 10 from 18 for his team not giving themselves a square chance against the Roosters.
"The first half was probably the area that really let us down. Our completions were about 53 to 56 per cent," he asid.
"We just applied too much pressure on ourselves, we just weren't smart with the ball at times as well. We had some good play at times and just didn't do enough of it."
He was however happy with the defensive resolve that stopped the score-line getting out of hand.
"The Roosters, with the amount of ball they had, could have run away with a few more but the boys fought so that's inside them but we have to get a lot better around our attack and make sure we lift those completion rates up," he added.