The Sydney Roosters have been dealt another blow with Angus Crichton facing a suspension as fears continue to mount over Jake Friend’s concussion and his future in the NRL.
While Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will only be fined for his clash with Curtis Sironen in their big round-win win over Manly, Crichton was not so lucky.
The second-rower could miss up to two matches, but will only be suspended for Sunday’s clash with Wests Tigers with an early guilty plea.
It came in his first game filling in for Boyd Cordner on the left edge, with youngster Sitili Tupouniua on the right.
Meanwhile, Friend’s concussion remains a talking point, with some reports speculating he may have played his last game in the NRL.
The Roosters will likely be forced to turn to five-game rookie Freddy Lussick at hooker against the Wests Tigers next week as fears mount over Friend’s latest concussion.
Friend was left shaken by a head knock early in the second half of the Roosters’ 46-4 pummelling of Manly on Saturday, stopping play for several minutes.
Fears are mounting over Jake Friend’s latest concussion. Credit: Getty
He eventually walked off with assistance, but the injury prompted fears over his health after two failed head injury assessments at the end of last season.
“I’m concerned he came off the field, pretty simply,” coach Trent Robinson said.
“Most guys just sit in the dressing room and are disappointed it happened and they don’t say much other than they’re okay.”
Roosters star James Tedesco was concerned for his skipper after the match.
“He seemed alright, but he’s just so tough it’s hard to get a gauge on him,” Tedesco said.
Jake Friend of the Roosters is attended to by team trainers after head knock during the round one NRL match. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
“You don’t want to see that for Jake.
“He looked in good spirits, so hopefully he recovers well for us.”
The Roosters are renowned for playing it safe with concussions, with Boyd Cordner sitting out the first half of this season after repeated head knocks.
“Obviously our club has had to deal with a few of these situations and it’s clear how they deal with them,” Tedesco said.
“They look after the player first. The player’s safety is always in the front of mind for Robbo and the doctors.”
Boyd Cordner will miss the first 12 games of the NRL season because of concussion suffered in SoO. Credit: AAP
The head injury has reportedly prompted Friend to consider his future in the game, with the 31-year-old gaining a new perspective after becoming a father for the first time.
The SMH reports that Friend is now thinking of his life after football and whether he needs to prove anything more in the game of rugby league.
The paper also suggests Friend’s perspective on head injuries has been changed by witnessing Cordner’s troubling history of concussion.
The off-contract captain’s recent susceptibility to head knocks has also reportedly played a factor in his considerations.
Making matters worse for the Roosters is the fact Adam Keighran suffered a dislocated wrist in the win, likely ruling him out for next week.
Victor Radley remains suspended for one more match, while Sam Verrills’ return from an ACL is more than one week away.
That leaves 20-year-old Freddy Lussick as the only other hooking option, after he filled in at the end of last year and even started in the finals match against Penrith.
“He (Verrills) is not far. I don’t think (he’ll be ready for next week),” Robinson said.
“Freddy has been ready for a long time, he’s had a great pre-season and is ready to go.”
Keighran’s injury and the need for a utility off the bench could potentially open the door for Sam Walker’s NRL debut, if Robinson felt the teenager was ready to be blooded.
Source by 7news.com.au