The NRL is reportedly ready to fine the Bulldogs over an incident that may have exposed how NRL coaches have been faking injuries.
The NRL is reportedly ready to fine the Bulldogs over the Round 1 incident where star hooker Jeremy Marshall-King was taken from the field to undergo a Head Injury Assessment (HIA).
Head injuries have emerged as a big talking point to start the season after Roosters coach Trent Robinson complained about the new system in place to protect players from further head knocks.
It has now emerged that the NRL has reached out to Canterbury to ask for an explanation as to why Marshall-King was taken from the field to undergo a HIA with 10 minutes left in his team’s win over the Cowboys, despite appearing to injure his shoulder .
The Dogs were given a free interchange as a result.
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The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio told Fox League’s NRL 360 on Tuesday night the Bulldogs “will be facing a significant fine if proven” the club violated HIA rules.
In 2022 an independent doctor in the NRL’s video bunker can rule a player out of the game if he displays symptoms such as unstableness or disorientation on video replays.
It comes as NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent thrashed the 16 NRL coaches with a suggestion they are deliberately “rorting” the system to gain free interchanges.
He said the NRL no longer trusts the clubs — and the coaches — to do the right thing when it comes to HIAs.
“Coaches were faking head injuries to get free replacements and then other players who were a six or a seven or a nine or whatever who are important and needed to stay out there, they would try and say it is actually a shoulder injury, or it was a leg injury or whatever as to why he was slow to his feet,” Kent said.
“The coaches have surrendered the right to be in control of their own destiny, because the coaches were the ones rorting the rule and privately the doctors went to the NRL and said we are sick of being stuck in the middle here because we have the coach up here saying ‘mate he is okay keep him on the field he’s not concussed’ when I can clearly see he is concussed and we need to get him off.
“So the coaches, they have no one to blame but themselves because they do what they always do, they try and bend it to their own advantage.”
He said one unintended benefit of the new HIA protocols if that it has given a deterrent for players to lie down and milk penalties.
Marshall-King was also selected to play in the Dogs’ Round 2 clash with the Broncos on Sunday.
The Roosters lost both Victor Radley and center Billy Smith in their Round 1 loss to Newcastle as a result of intervention of the doctor in the bunker.
Roosters enforcer Radley initially passed his HIA after trying to tackle Knights halfback Jake Clifford 25 minutes into the game only to be pulled off by the bunker moments later.
He eventually failed further checks and was ruled out of the game despite the Roosters claiming he had no symptoms.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was not impressed and implored the NRL to “get better at that system”.