Phil Gould has revealed Josh Addo-Carr is 'fine' after he was reportedly knocked out at the Koori Knockout rugby league carnival on Saturday. The Canterbury Bulldogs winger was playing for the Sydney All Blacks against Walgett in Tuggerah on the NSW Central Coast, when a number of brawls broke out.
There are conflicting reports about if and how Addo-Carr was actually knocked out, with some claiming he was hit high in a tackle and lost consciousness - which sparked an all-in brawl. However other reports claim he was knocked out during the brawl, and video posted to social media appears to show him involved in the fracas.
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Taking to social media on Saturday night, Canterbury general manager Phil Gould wrote: "Bulldogs have spoken personally to Josh Addo-Carr and he is fine. No issues at all. Unfortunate incident, but he’s taken no harm. More as it comes to hand."
Addo-Carr later posted on social media, saying: “Tell who really got knocked out in the brawl, play dirty cop it”. The former NSW and Australia winger reportedly took umbrage after copping a punch in an earlier incident, before more aggressive behaviour from a Walgett player. Veteran journalist Phil Rothfield said it was "rubbish" that Addo-Carr was knocked out in a tackle and not part of the fighting.
NSW Police said they are investigating the incidents, and there's a possibility Addo-Carr could be hit with charges. “About 1.45pm (Saturday, September 30, 2023), two teams were playing as part of a rugby league carnival at a sporting complex at Tuggerah, when an on-field fight broke out,” NSW Police said in a statement.
“Some players and spectators attempted to break up the fight, which then spread off-field, whilst others became involved. Police and event security broke up the brawl a short time later and the crowd dispersed, before the game was called off. There are no reports of injuries at this time. Police from Tuggerah Lakes Police District are working closely with event organisers and NSW Rugby League.”
The big names are 'targets' at these sort of games... not good.
— The Mole (@9_Moley) September 30, 2023
— BUZZ ROTHFIELD (@BuzzRothfield) September 30, 2023
NRL stars taking part in 51st Koori Knockout carnival
Addo-Carr isn't the only high-profile NRL player to feature in the four-day Indigenous carnival. Latrell Mitchell, Jack Wighton and Jayden Sullivan are also taking part in the only event that sees NRL stars take on local footy players from around the state.
The carnival takes place every October long weekend, and sees thousands of Aboriginal people from across NSW gather for a celebration of community, family and the ultimate rugby league competition. Former NRL players Cliff Lyons and Dean Widders both head to the knockout every year.
"It is the biggest cultural celebration and gathering that we have these days and I see it as a big ceremony for everyone," Widders told AAP last week. "We have family reunions, you catch up with friends and people you haven't seen for a long time."
This year's carnival is the 51st Koori Knockout, and is being hosted by the Newcastle All Blacks at the Central Coast Regional Sporting Complex in Tuggerah. Beginning on Friday, the competition runs through the weekend and the finals take place on Monday.
"The Knockout brings the community together and it's like a bit of a reunion with your cousins and relatives that you don't see," Lyons said. "It's about getting back to the old ways. It's also just giving back to the mob and, obviously, without the NRL and NRLW players going back to that league they wouldn't be able to play with their cousins and relatives and friends."
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