Wayne Bennett, Dolphins, Kalyn Ponga, HIA, Controversial Call, Adam O’Brien, Newcastle Knights, Independent Doctor
Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has urged the NRL to “stop pandering to clubs” and fire the independent doctor following a controversial HIA ruling surrounding Kalyn Ponga.
Ponga was furious after being sent off with 12 minutes left due to a head injury.
The Knights semi-collided with Warriors prop man Addin Fonua-Blake before referee Chris Sutton sent him for an exam on orders from the independent doctor.
Watch every game of every round of the 2023 NRL Telstra Premiership season LIVE on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Knight Press Conference | 06:21
Get the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Join Now!!
On Saturday, Bennett said it was time to scrap the current system.
“We don’t need a doctor in the drawer,” he said.
“The solution is to hold clubs more accountable, I say that.
“Get the guy out of the box because that’s why the NRL put him in there so he has enough confidence to make the right decision.
“We noticed that last year (the system had bugs) but that hasn’t changed.”
Bennett said the game had never been so serious with head injuries but believed it was time to put the blame back on clubs.
“Instead of choosing the soft options and supporting clubs that are doing the wrong thing… clubs need to own it.
“When they (the NRL) have had some moments (to take action against club doctors who don’t take action on concussions) in recent years, they haven’t punished clubs enough.”
“If you’re making clubs more accountable, you don’t need an independent doctor.
“The NRL needs to penalize clubs with hefty fines or a point deduction if you leave those players on the field when they need to get off.
Jake is thrilled to see Tom back and firing | 00:59
MORE NRL NEWS
‘MADNESS’: Mick Ennis slams ‘outrageous’ Flanagan shout as Sin Bin furore erupts
‘MONUMENTAL EXCITEMENT’: Reynolds ‘stone cold’ moment as Broncos shock Panthers
BIG HITS: Ponga furious after ‘massive’ punch at cruel Knights; The Return of the Warrior
“I’M NOT GOING OUT”: Shock HIA call leaves Ponga and Knights’ trainer in disbelief
“You’ll get rid of it pretty quickly.”
The decision to pull Ponga off the field sparked a lot of dating in the rugby league community.
Veteran journalist Brent Read and St. George Illawarra Dragons prop master Aaron Woods also addressed the issue on Saturday’s Triple M Rocks Footy radio show.
Read believed the wrong call was made regarding Ponga.
“You could see it wasn’t a definite concussion, so it was important for the coach to be checking on Kalyn at this point rather than pulling him straight away,” Read said.
Woods then claimed the players were told not to lie down in hopes of scoring a penalty if the independent doctor mistook it for concussion symptoms.
“We tell our players to get up immediately because if a player like Ben Hunt gets a cop and he gets up very slowly, they’re going to look closely and we can’t lose a player like that,” Woods said.
“But the problem with that, Woodsy, is you’re going to have concussion-covering players,” Read replied.
https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/nrl-2023-wayne-bennett-dolphins-kalyn-ponga-hia-controversial-call-adam-obrien-newcastle-knights-independent-doctor/news-story/222db04549ba73519b316181560f62b3 Wayne Bennett, Dolphins, Kalyn Ponga, HIA, Controversial Call, Adam O’Brien, Newcastle Knights, Independent Doctor