The Penrith Panthers have been punished by the NRL for breaching the game’s strict concussion rules.
Penrith are the latest team to be punished under the NRL’s strict concussion rules, with the fairytale finalists fined $20,000 for a breach involving star Jamal Idris.
Although half the fine will be suspended, the reprimand over abuse of player welfare serves as a body blow to the high-flying Panthers who are currently on a week off before resuming their premiership tilt.
The NRL stepped in after ruling that Penrith officials failed to take Idris from the field for a concussion test when he took a heavy knock in a tackle in the round 26 clash against the Warriors.
Head of Football Todd Greenberg condemned the Panthers and warned that the NRL expects clubs to remain vigilant on concussion throughout the pressure-filled finals series.
“Players must be taken from the field for a SCAT test if they show any signs of concussion and this did not happen with Jamal,” said Greenberg.
“Overall, the clubs have supported our requirement for players who take head knocks to be taken from the field to undergo a concussion test.
“But we cannot let up and we cannot become complacent because player safety has to remain our priority.
“We expect the rules to be followed vigilantly in every match – no matter how important the game might be.”
The NRL are using sideline technology and operators to assist club doctors to determine whether players are displaying symptoms of concussion during the finals series.
Already this year, Canterbury, North Queensland and Wests Tigers have been on the receiving end of $20,000 fines for concussion breaches.
Greenberg said the $10,000 suspended from the Idris fine would have to be paid if the Panthers were guilty of any further breaches of concussion rules over the next 12 months.
Since the NRL introduced its crackdown this season, clubs have been required to send through documentation of any test undertaken.
This information, which is digitally obtained, is saved to hard drive and details the responses of players to their doctors.
Should the NRL feel there are any discrepancies, they can request more information.
However, in the Panthers case, Idris was never taken off for a test and played out the full 80 minutes.