Tigers cop $20,000 hit for concussion breach

Liam Fulton hits the ball up against Manly. Photo: Jonathan Ng
Liam Fulton hits the ball up against Manly. Photo: Jonathan Ng

Wests Tigers have become the second club to be stung $20,000 for failing to adhere to the NRL's new concussion guidelines.

The joint-venture club was handed the fine, half of which will remain suspended if there are no further breaches this year, for allowing Liam Fulton to remain on the field after suffering a head knock against Manly. The veteran forward suffered head knocks in rounds one and three and was rested the following week on both occasions.

The Tigers contested the breach notice, pointing to their record of bringing players off this year and the fact their trainer was unsighted when the incident occured. The NRL recently tightened the rules to put more onus on clubs to identify concussions after the Bulldogs escaped without sanction when their doctor and trainer claimed they did not witness a concussion to James Graham.

The NRL informed the Tigers on Friday their appeal against the breach notice was unsuccessful.

"It's disappointing, we believe we followed the procedure," said Tigers CEO Grant Mayer.

"There was no doubt from speaking to our staff they were unsighted during the actual contact.

"The reality is we've been overly cautious with Liam Fulton throughout the course of the season. There is great concern across the game for players' health and wellbeing but we are certainly disappointed by the outcome."

The ARL Commission have shown they are taking the concussion issue seriously by engaging an independent doctor to sit on the sidelines during State of Origin matches to ensure concussed players are immediately replaced. Former North Sydney and Manly physician Ken Crichton become the first medico in Australian league history to have access to a video monitor specifically for the purposes of identifying concussions during the opening Origin encounter at Suncorp Stadium.

The game's changing attitudes to concussions was evident when former Penrith hooker Royce Simmons was recently contacted for his recollections from his time in Origin.

"My first one in '86, I got a bump on the head at the start of the game. I fell over and got up three times," Simmons said.

"Every time I tried to get up I fell straight onto my face, I couldn't even put my hands out to stop myself from falling over.

"Every time I fell the crowd were really involved, they'd go 'Ooooeeeeeeeh!' The crowd cheered.

"They would give you a hammering if you came off back then, you couldn't go back on again. If I didn't finish that game, who knows, I may not have gotten another game."

This story Tigers cop $20,000 hit for concussion breach first appeared on WA Today.