'Absolute madness': Uproar over 'dangerous' State of Origin drama

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Boyd Cordner, pictured here after a concussion scare in the State of Origin opener.
Peter FitzSimons led the criticism of Boyd Cordner being allowed to return to play. Image: Getty/Channel Nine

Peter FitzSimons has led the outcry after Boyd Cordner was allowed to play on in the State of Origin opener after a concussion scare.

A dazed Cordner, who has suffered three recent rounds of concussion, was helped from Adelaide Oval early in Wednesday night’s clash between NSW and Queensland.

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The NSW captain copped an accidental blow to the head and then hip when he got into an awkward position trying to tackle Felise Kaufusi.

The 28-year-old was assisted from the field for the mandatory 15 minutes under concussion protocols amid fears over his recent history of head knocks.

But Cordner returned to action after passing concussion tests.

“I obviously got a head knock, come in and spent some time with the doctor to do the HIA,” he said after the game.

“Passed that, was fit to go back on and play, so got back on and played.

“It's not ideal to keep getting head knocks ... but I have the best people around me.

“I have sought the best advice during the year. I will keep doing that, I will keep working with the medical staff.”

Outcry after Boyd Cordner returns to the field

Former Wallabies player FitzSimons, a vocal advocate of increasing awareness around concussion, lashed out at the decision to allow Cordner to continue.

“The issue is not Cordner’s alone. The outrage was putting him back on,” FitzSimons tweeted on Wednesday night.

“Does ANYONE doubt that he was concussed last night?

“So WHY was he put back on? Absolute madness. And twenty years from now, legally dangerous.”

NSW great Ben Elias expressed his fears for Cordner’s future and warned “all hell will break loose if something unfortunate happens.”

Boyd Cordner, pictured here during the State of Origin opener between NSW and Queensland.
Boyd Cordner looks on during the State of Origin opener between NSW and Queensland. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“I can say this for a fact... Dr Nathan Gibbs who is the medical expert at NSW is probably the best doctor in the country for this type of position,” Elias said on Fox Sports News.

“My question is - you’ve got a long life to live in. He’s had a lot of history. I do worry about him in a lot of ways.

“I know the man personally. He’s a wonderful, wonderful human being. I worry about him because he has had too many knocks.

“He is our captain. He is our showpiece for New South Wales. To get him one more knock and put him into Disneyland would be a real disappointment.

“It’s a real tough decision because you don’t want to not play a State of Origin game. It is a really tough call for Boyd himself and the officials.”

Boyd Cordner’s scary history of concussion

Before Wednesday’s game, Cordner shrugged off concerns over his string of concussions after missing seven games for the Roosters this season because of head knocks.

The Blues stalwart suffered his first bout of concussion in a round-eight loss to Melbourne, returning a fortnight later but copping another knock to the head in training.

Cordner was then sat out for a further five weeks, consulting a specialist about headaches, before returning in round 16.

He suffered yet another knock against Newcastle in round 18.

Cordner came back from that setback in round 20 but was a shadow of himself in the defending premiers' semi-final loss to Canberra.

In 2018, he suffered a head knock during round four, passed a head injury assessment and returned to the field.

A few months later in Origin II, he suffered memory loss in a sickening clash with Dylan Napa.

And last year, Cordner stood himself down after what he described as the worst concussion of his career.

with AAP

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