North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten hints at ‘deliberate’ Canterbury Bulldogs stalling


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.

“No doubt.

“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.”

Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

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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Veteran recruit Chad Townsend played his first NRL game with the Cowboys in round one, teaming up with young five-eighth Tom Dearden in the halves.

“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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