Cowboys coach Todd Payten is lamenting the many stoppages the Bulldogs forced through head injury assessments and has raised the possibility of Canterbury being “deliberate” in a bid to stall North Queensland’s momentum.
Play was halted for Canterbury HIAs on six occasions during the Bulldogs’ 6-4 win in Townsville, with Corey Waddell, Max King, Chris Patolo, Braidon Burns, Brent Naden and Jeremy Marshall-King all receiving medical attention.
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“It hurt us, it hurt us,” Payten said in his post-match press conference.
“Whether that was deliberate on a couple of occasions, I’m unsure.
“But the game stopped when we had momentum more than a couple of times.”
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Trainers are no longer allowed to stop play for non-head-related injuries, but they can for injuries related to the head.
They have unlimited access to the field to treat injured players.
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“I thought our chat and communication was great. It’s been great all pre-season,” Townsend said.
“I feel really comfortable playing with Tom. I thought he was great tonight … We’ve played a game and a half together. We’ve done a lot of training together, but can prepare you for what a game throws at you.”
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