Cowboys manager Todd Payten laments the numerous stoppages imposed by the Bulldogs in head injury assessments and has raised the possibility that Canterbury is being “deliberate” in a bid to curb North Queensland’s momentum.
Play was halted for the Canterbury HIAs six times in the Bulldogs’ 6-4 win at Townsville, with Corey Waddell, Max King, Chris Patolo, Braidon Burns, Brent Naden and Jeremy Marshall-King all receiving medical treatment.
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“It hurt us, it hurt us,” Payten said in his post-match press conference.
“Without a doubt.
“If it was deliberate a few times, I’m not sure.
“But the game stopped when we had momentum more than twice.”
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Coaches are no longer allowed to stop play for non-head-related injuries, but they can for head-related injuries.
They have unlimited access to the field to treat injured players.
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Veteran rookie Chad Townsend made his NRL debut for the Cowboys in the first round, teaming up with young five-eighth Tom Dearden in halftime.
“I thought our conversation and communication was great. Everything was great all pre-season,” Townsend said.
“I feel really comfortable playing with Tom. I thought he was great tonight… We played a game and a half together. We’ve trained a lot together, but we can prepare you for what ‘a match is in store for you.
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