Bunker pulls Radley from game after he plays on with head knock

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Sydney Roosters lock Victor Radley has been forced from the field under the NRL’s new concussion protocols – despite playing on for several minutes after a clear head knock.

The incident came in the first half of the Roosters’ home opener against the Newcastle Knights, with Radley getting his head in the wrong place during a tackle on Knights halfback Adam Clune.

It was one of the more obvious head injury assessment calls, as Radley immediately fell back in pain and clearly took a big head knock, but he was not withdrawn for several minutes until an off-field call from the independent doctor.

Under the new rules, the bunker can grade head knocks: they called this one to the top level of severity and removed Radley from the game. As a result, the Roosters lost an interchange.

Even though he continued playing, the Roosters readied Nat Butcher as a replacement, indicating that the Chooks were well aware that he was about to be pulled from the field despite them leaving him on. Had they voluntarily withdrawn Radley, they would have kept another interchange.

In between copping the head knock and being removed from the field, Radley managed to get himself put on report for a crusher tackle.

“This is a weird one for me,” said Cooper Cronk on Fox League. “There’s no doubt that Radley has a whack to the head and doesn’t feel great.

“The Roosters physio comes out and does a test, but he stays on the field.

“I know that they’ve put a medical expert in the Bunker to stop teams looking out for their own players, but it’s really hard to see how that can be judged.”

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