Coaches want refs to stop for injuries
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 3:45a.m.
Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett and Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens have raised their concerns over the failure of on-field officials stopping play for seriously injured players.
Bennett hit-out after Newcastle player Kyle O’Donnell was flattened from a collision with Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess. O’Donnell was knocked out and received a large cut on the left side of his face.
Knight’s forward Willie Mason immediately went to O’Donnell’s aid, removing his mouthguard, while other players called for referees Ashley Klein and Brett Suttor to stop the play which continued until the Rabbitoh’s lost possession of the ball.
''It was ridiculous what they did,'' Bennett tells the Sydney Morning Herald. ''Everybody in the ground knew the state he was in. He's laying on the ground there and they let the game play.
''The NRL's at us all the time about player welfare - it just can't be the coaches and the players, the referees have got to buy into it too. If that's not a reason to stop the game then and there we'll never have a reason.''
The issue of play to continue while a player is seriously injured is already under the spotlight.
Officials in the game between Wests Tigers and the Bulldogs refused to stop the game after a Lote Tuqiri injury, despite appeals from Wests trainer John Skandalis. Sheens is understood to have been fuming after the game, especially as a second-half conversion was delayed to allow and injured Bulldogs player be treated.
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