Panthers football boss Gus Gould claims “medical staff didn’t require” assistance carrying off two injured players as the club’s lack of medicabs caused uncomfortable scenes on Saturday.
Penrith hosted Manly, who won by eight points, but injuries turned out to be the headline of the day for both sides.
The Sea Eagles saw Matthew Wright injure his shoulder scoring a try and Dylan Walker suffer a knee injury late in the game.
Late in the contest the Panthers were hit when Viliame Kikau suffered a corked knee after colliding with a Manly ball-carrier’s head in a tackle attempt.
Walker had been helped all the way across the field by two physios – described as ‘human chairs’ by commentator Andrew Voss – after being unable to walk on his injured limb.
Seriously in a game that generates millions of dollars, is it too much to ask every NRL ground to have a medicab, or even stretcher available? It's 2018 for crying out loud. What an embarrassment! #NRLPanthersManly
— Peter Dickinson (c) (@pete_dicko) June 30, 2018
Seriously @NRL you need to have a medicab at every game! Two poor players clearly in an enormous amount of pain have had to hobble across the field with their injuries. Awful and unprofessional.
— neats ☀️ (@nitabitaaa) June 30, 2018
Two lengthy injury delays and no Medicab to get either player off? How much further damage could they have done? #NRLPanthersManly
— Billy Freeman (@freemanbilly81) June 30, 2018
The situation repeated itself with Kikau, who was writhing in pain before limping off on his 120kg frame, and Gould said it is an unfortunate side effect of suburban rugby league.
“Very few of the older suburban grounds can fit medicabs down tunnels or into medical areas,” Gould said on Twitter.
“Modern stadiums cater for such needs. We have stretchers and stretchers suffice if needed. Medical staff didn’t require stretchers today. Player welfare is always paramount.”
Fans were quick to note that Newcastle had a medicab available at Hunter Stadium, which has received significant upgrades over the past 10 years, later on Saturday.
Knights hooker Slade Griffin appeared to suffer a serious knee injury in the first half of his side’s clash with the Bulldogs.
His injury is yet to be confirmed, but the Melbourne Storm premiership player’s history of knee issues – he has undergone three reconstructions – left many concerned.
Some viewers were glad to see Griffin would be helped off the ground, even directing the Panthers to call Newcastle for assistance.
Oh look at that.
A player being assisted off on a medicab.
Well I'll be..
— Matt Back (@MattNotFront) June 30, 2018
@AndrewVossy @PhilGould15 Depite the knee injury to Slade Griffin, it’s great to see Knights having a medicab. Why doesn’t @PenrithPanthers have one at their ground? Disgrace that Dylan Walker had to hobble all the way off today!
— Ben (@BPomp23) June 30, 2018
Penrith need to call Newcastle and get a Medicab contact #NRLKnightsBulldogs
— Dylan Matthews (@DylanMatthews91) June 30, 2018