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15 Dec 2017 2:20
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Titans, Knights to defend head knock fines

    Gold Coast coach Neil Henry has defended the NRL club's medical staff after being fined for breaching concussion protocols.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has joined Gold Coast counterpart Neil Henry in indicating both clubs will defend their handling of concussions after being fined this week by the NRL.

    The Titans were the first on Tuesday to signal their intention to prove they had acted appropriately in head knocks to Kane Elgey, Joe Greenwood and Ryan Simpkins in round three.

    Simpkins, in particular, had shown signs of balance disturbance from a second-half collision but was cleared to return after undergoing a head-injury assessment.

    The NRL fined the club $150,000 over the three incidents.

    "They have a review process where you can state your case against the breach notices and we'll do that and wait and see what the outcomes are," Titans coach Henry said.

    "I will say that I'm very confident in the ability of our medical team to get decisions right around player welfare.

    "At no stage did we feel that we were deliberately keeping a player on field that would put him in danger. I'll leave it at that.

    "We'll need to write a detailed report on each of those incidents and see what the NRL says."

    Knights coach Brown also hinted his club would seek to show how it had followed the game's new protocols over a concussion to fullback Brendan Elliot.

    The former Sydney Roosters' flyer didn't even get tested, despite being floored by a high shot from South Sydney centre Hymel Hunt that resulted in a four-game ban.

    The governing body slugged Newcastle with a $100,000 fine, however Brown insisted the club boasted some of the best concussion minds in the business on their staff.

    "We're one of a few clubs that have Dr Andrew Gardner and Dr Chris Levi, who have their own concussion clinic which is separate to the club, that all the players go and see if they fail tests," Brown told reporters on Tuesday.

    "Dr Levi is a world leader in the field. Anybody that doesn't think we support it, I'd be disappointed. Tony Ayoub has 30 years' experience, he's made a judgement call and, as the head coach, we support our staff.

    "We'll go through the process with the NRL now and see what the outcome is."

    St George Illawarra chose not to comment after receiving a breach notice on Tuesday morning.

    Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire also weighed into the debate on Tuesday, saying the concussion laws were made clear despite changes being made regularly.

    The NRL this year introduced new "slow to stand" protocols, forcing players to undergo mandatory head-injury assessments should they take more than 10 seconds to get up.

    "It's a moving beast, understanding what concussion is all about," Maguire said.

    "But it's pretty straightforward in the rules now (in terms of) what you need to do with a player when he does get a knock. You've just got to take him off."


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