The NRL has handed Canterbury a $20,000 fine for failing to bring Lachlan Lewis off the field immediately after copping a head knock on Good Friday. Lewis remains out with a concussion after he got his head in the wrong spot while trying to tackle South Sydney winger Josh Mansour, leaving him clearly dazed.
After stumbling twice and having to be held up by South Sydney players, Lewis was assessed on the field by a Bulldogs trainer before being allowed to stay on. He was then removed two minutes later, after further replays were viewed, and ruled out for the rest of match.
“Under NRL rules, any player who exhibits clear signs of motor incoordination or possible motor incoordination must be removed from the field immediately,” the NRL said in a statement after issuing a breach notice including the proposed fine.
“The NRL acknowledges the Bulldogs did view Injury Surveillance screen replays and removed Lewis from the field within two minutes of further elapsed game time. When considering the proposed penalty, the NRL has taken into account the club’s compliance to this part of the policy and that Lewis did not remain on the field for any tactical purpose.
“The NRL reminds clubs that all officials and coaching staff, beyond club doctors and trainers, have a responsibility to be alert to player reactions after head knocks during a game.”
Canterbury will have five days to respond to the breach notice.
Meanwhile, Canberra are expected to contest a $10,000 breach notice from the NRL for their trainer becoming entangled in a scuffle against Penrith.
The highly publicised incident has drawn several questions over perceived arrogance from the Panthers after their fullback Stephen Crichton pulled rival Joseph Tapine into a try celebration while he was waiting to come on.
NRL rules state that trainers are not “permitted to approach or become involved in an altercation or melee involving players from either competing team”. However the Raiders are likely to argue that the official was brought into the scuffle as he was standing next to Tapine, and there was no malice in his contact.
Crichton was fined $1,350 for contrary conduct over the matter.