NRL News: Wally making concussion plea for federal budget, Annesley admits Tigers dudded by sin bin call


Rugby league legend Wally Lewis is set to make an impassioned plea for further funding into concussion and traumatic brain injuries research ahead of the federal budget.

The Queensland great will use an address at the National Press Club on Tuesday to open up about his experience with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Ahead of the May federal budget, the Concussion and CTE Coalition – made up of advocacy bodies such as Dementia Australia – have called for $18 million in funding from the government.

The coalition called for the funds to be used to help fund a pilot program to help support people living with CTE and their families, along with community awareness and prevention programs.

The group had also urged for more research to help identify the strong casual link between those who have had repeated traumatic brain injuries, such as concussion, and developing CTE later in life.

Lewis revealed in 2023 he had been diagnosed with CTE, following concerns about his memory after repeated concussions during his sporting career.

The former Maroons captain was in Canberra in February as part of a delegation urging for greater funding from the federal government for CTE research.

Lewis will also be joined at the National Press Club address by Collingwood premiership player Nathan Murphy, who announced his retirement from the sport earlier in April following multiple concussions.

Wally Lewis. (Photo by Getty Images)

Murphy, 24, retired from AFL after advice from the code’s medical concussion panel.

He played his last match at the 2023 grand final, where he was taken off the field after the first quarter due to concussion.

CTE is the only preventable form of dementia, with estimates that several thousand people are affected by the condition.

Annesley admits Tigers copped raw deal

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has conceded Wests Tigers were dudded when Panthers half Brad Schneider was spared the sin bin despite a professional foul which denied Justin Olam a chance to score.

Schneider ankle-tapped the centre without the ball which stopped him from being able to back up a break from winger Junior Tupou

“I’ve been pretty quiet about the refereeing but I just feel like we’re not getting the rub of the green,” Tigers coach Benji Marshall said after the 22-6 loss. “That trip, I see it as a professional foul in the act of a try-scoring opportunity.

“Justin Olam was supporting to try and score a try and he gets tripped up. How that’s not a professional foul and a sin bin? I’ll ask for clarification as that hurt us.”

The Tigers were up 6-0 at the time of the incident in the 11th minute and if they had scored twice early it could have changed the whole momentum of the match.

Annesley at his weekly media briefing admitted the match officials got it wrong.

“It should have been a sin bin, in my view. We’ve discussed it this morning with the referee coaching staff and the referees that were in the room this morning, both tripping and also that kind of interference to a support player who is not in possession,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether they would’ve scored a try or not. You can’t interfere deliberately with a support player, effectively bring him to the ground and prevent him from having any opportunity to play part in what may happen next, whether it’s a try or not, and escape without going to the sin bin.”

Former Blues captain Paul Gallen described the call to not banish Schneider to the sin bin as “absolutely ridiculous” on 100% Footy.

“That’s a try gone begging, I think they score from that play. He actually dived to ankle-tap him. How isn’t someone sitting in the sin-bin for that? That was a disgraceful call, I don’t know how the Bunker missed it.

“The referee should have seen it, the touch judge should have seen it.”

with AAP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.