The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and its coaching staff are under the microscope after half Lachlan Lewis was left on the field for 90 seconds after stumbling out of a tackle – showing severe concussion-like symptoms – during the club’s 38-0 drubbing at the hands of South Sydney.
But the question on everybody’s lips today – how is that still happening in 2021?
For as long as rugby league has been played, there has been a tendency to glorify acts of ‘toughness and bravery’ that a common person might not display.
Case in point: John Sattler carrying Rabbitohs to glory with a broken jaw or Cooper Cronk playing a starring on-field coaching role with a busted shoulder a few years back for Sydney Roosters.
However that same mentality has ultimately led us to an age where players are expected to ‘be tough’ – even when they show signs of a brain injury.
Yes, NRL, AFL and other sports are finally taking concussion more seriously.
So it stuck out like a cat in a dog park when a trainer at Bulldogs left Lewis on for a minute and a half more.
Thankfully, he was not involved in another contact and he was removed from the game.
Although, it shouldn’t be left to chance.
As the NRLPhysio Brien Seeney pointed out on social media, NRL touted a ‘brain bunker’ that was going to stop this from happening.
The NRL will no doubt put this incident under the microscope in the coming days but the fact of the matter remains.
It goes without saying that the players on the field from both sides need to be commended after they sprung to action to protect Lewis from falling and hitting his head further.
And maybe there was an unspoken agreement to not run at him again.
However, we need to ask – where are the ‘concussion spotters’ and how did it take so long for Lewis to be pulled from the game?