The NRL has confirmed Canterbury will again be under the microscope for their handling of the concussion protocols following Friday night's loss to the Roosters.
Two incidents which occured late in the first half of the ANZ Stadium clash could prove costly. The first involved fullback Sam Perrett, who seemingly refused the direction of a trainer to come from the field for assessment. The other involved captain Michael Ennis, who stayed down after appearing to suffer a knock to the head. Sceptical Roosters players ordered the hooker to get to his feet, believing he was staying down in order to milk a penalty. Both players remained on the field in a heated clash, with Ennis even granting a short interview with the broadcaster as he came off for half time.
"Both those cases will be looked at by the NRL to see if there was any breach of the concussion rules," an NRL spokesperson said.
It's believed the issue of diving will also be discussed at Rugby League Central in coming days. In the past, players have stayed down to give the video referee time to find a potential illegality. But as Friday's incidents suggest, the ploy could backfire if clubs are stung for concussion breaches. Half of the Dogs' $20,000 fine was suspended over the Jackson incident, but they may have to pay the full amount if there are further breaches.
Canterbury are the only club to be fined for breaching the new guidelines for their handling of a head knock to forward Josh Jackson. The Bulldogs escaped a further fine, for not taking James Graham from the field, because the trainer didn't see the incident. That loophole has subsequently been closed and can't be used in future defences.
The Wests Tigers have also been issued a breach notice for failing to bring Liam Fulton from the field. The joint-venture club has submitted a response but is yet to learn its fate.
The ARLC have shown they are taking the concussion issue seriously by engaging an independent doctor to sit on the sidelines during State of Origin to ensure concussed players are immediately replaced. Former North Sydney and Manly physician Ken Crighton will have access to a video monitor and will work with the team medicos in determining if players are removed from the fray.