General NRL Concussion Thread/Head High Tackle

Do you agree with the new high contact rule?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.
wallacenz

wallacenz

That what they say in the official blurb doesnt equal what exactly would happen.
Say you have three concussions in a row = how many doctors does a club employ???
'Complete CERTAIN questions', not necessarily all is what I read from that. Maybe within a few questions and tests they can flag the rest if the player does well.

I would think its likely an observation period, 'how many fingers am I holding up', check pupil dilation, 'where do you live', 'where are we now', 'close your eyes, touch your nose' etc

I think teams are going to take advantage, if a props been on the field more than 10 minutes they will tell them to stay down if they suffer even the slightest bump. Wait for the doctor, mention a symptom, go off, get checked, back to the bench, free interchange
 

slaughterhouse.sa

'Complete CERTAIN questions', not necessarily all is what I read from that. Maybe within a few questions and tests they can flag the rest if the player does well.

I would think its likely an observation period, 'how many fingers am I holding up', check pupil dilation, 'where do you live', 'where are we now', 'close your eyes, touch your nose' etc

I think teams are going to take advantage, if a props been on the field more than 10 minutes they will tell them to stay down if they suffer even the slightest bump. Wait for the doctor, mention a symptom, go off, get checked, back to the bench, free interchange

Exactly....so reaility teams actually do assesment in 2 or 3 mins...then enjoy a free interchange..
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Cowboys fined $20,000 for concussion breach
38803_20_1.jpg

The NRL has fined North Queensland $20,000 following a concussion rules breach involving Tariq Sims in the Cowboys' Round 20 clash with the Bulldogs. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.

The NRL today warned clubs that the concussion rules would be enforced stringently during the upcoming Finals series.

Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said there would be additional pressure for players to stay on the field during semi-finals and finals to help get their teams through to the next round.

But he said the NRL would continue to monitor and breach any clubs which put their players at risk.

“The welfare of our players is too important to risk because of any game of football,” Mr Greenberg said.

“So clubs will be expected to put aside the importance of the Finals and remove players from the field for assessment if they suffer head knocks.”

Mr Greenberg said the NRL had today breached and fined the North Queensland Cowboys $20,000 following an investigation into an incident involving Tariq Sims in Round 20.

He said the Cowboys should have taken Sims from the field in the 69th minute when he showed clear signs of suffering a head injury.

The NRL has suspended $10,000 of the fine in line with the penalties imposed on the Wests Tigers and Bulldogs earlier this year.

The Cowboys will be liable to pay the additional $10,000 if there are any further breaches of the concussion rules in the next 12 months.

"This fine should act as a timely reminder to clubs that we expect the NRL’s concussion rules to be followed if players suffer head knocks,” Mr Greenberg said.

“We believe the concussion rules have generally been enforced by the clubs this year and we are adamant that this must continue through the Finals series.”

https://www.nrl.com/cowboys-fined-20,000-for-concussion-breach/tabid/10874/newsid/81412/default.aspx
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Statement regarding Panthers concussion breach

The NRL said today it has fined the Penrith Panthers $20,000 for a breach of the concussion rules.

Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said the fine related to an incident involving Jamal Idris in a match against the Warriors earlier this month.

He said the Panthers had failed to take Idris from the field for a concussion test after taking a heavy knock in a tackle.

“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,” Mr Greenberg said.

Mr Greenberg said the NRL had suspended $10,000 of the fine. The Panthers will be liable to pay this if there are any further breaches of the concussion rules in the next 12 months.

“Overall, the clubs have supported our requirement for players who take head knocks to be taken from the field to undergo a concussion test,” Mr Greenberg said.

“But we cannot let up and we cannot become complacent because player safety has to remain our priority.”

Mr Greenberg warned that the NRL would continue to take a hard line on any breach of the concussion rules in the remaining weeks of the Finals series.

He said the NRL had sideline technology and operators in place to assist club doctors determine whether players are displaying concussive symptoms during the Finals.

“We expect the rules to be followed vigilantly in every match – no matter how important the game might be,” Mr Greenberg said.

https://www.nrl.com/statement-regar...-breach/tabid/10874/newsid/81971/default.aspx
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Grand finalists warned about concussion rules
CHRIS BARRETT
10556505.jpg

WARNING: The Bulldogs and Rabbitohs have been warned the NRL will be monitoring Sunday's grand final closely to ensure both teams follow the concussion rules.

South Sydney and Canterbury have been warned that the microscope on concussion will be intensified in the grand final.

The teams face having medical staff de-registered or competition points stripped next season if they flout the game's new laws in Sunday's premiership decider.

With so much on the line at ANZ Stadium, officials at League Central are aware that the rules, introduced this year, could be stretched with teams desperate not to be disadvantaged by having a key player forced from the field.

Fines of up to A$20,000 have been dished out to offending teams for breaches of the new concussion policy this season but NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said the governing body reserved the right to issue much harsher penalties if there were transgressions in the biggest club game of the season.

"I've got to say we've watched every semi-final so far very closely and I've got to say the doctors have done the right thing every time as have the trainers," Greenberg said.

"We're really happy with how the principle has been complied with but the bigger the game the bigger the decision and we'll be watching everything," Greenberg said.

"We watch it closely no matter what but officials on the field, so trainers or doctors, who don't follow the rules of the compliance of the concussion policy, ultimately put two things at risk: a fine for the club but ultimately they put their position inside the game at risk because they're accredited by us and it's a privilege not a right to be in one of these key positions.

"(A fine) is not the only deterrent. It's the only deterrent we've used so far under the policy but there are other deterrents and that's the accreditation of officials inside the game and the big one is always competition points or the result of the game. We haven't used those this year because we haven't needed to but we'll continue to apply the policy as it's supposed to be."

The Bulldogs and the Rabbitohs have come under scrutiny in the past year over how they have dealt with players who have received head knocks.

In April Canterbury were the first club to be fined A$20,000 - half of it suspended - over a breach of the new rules. The NRL cracked down when second-rower Josh Jackson played on after being concussed in round two against Cronulla.

The Bulldogs, who protested against the sanction, were also asked to explain why prop James Graham was not immediately removed from the field after a knock a fortnight later against Melbourne in Perth.

Souths were painted as serial offenders last season when a video dossier was circulated among NRL club medicos showing halfback Adam Reynolds being given smelling salts in two games by a trainer and other players playing on after possible concussions.

Greenberg, the former Canterbury chief executive, said he believed the new regulations and the use of sideline concussion tests had worked to improve how teams dealt with affected players and wants more of the same on Sunday.

"People understand the rules. We've been through 192 games of the premiership this year and we've had four breaches of the policy, I think, so by and large everyone has done the right thing," Greenberg said.

"I'm very confident in the personnel, particularly in each of the clubs. They'll do the right thing."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/10556494/Grand-finalists-warned-about-concussion-rules
 
snake77

snake77

Having medical staff de-registered or the big one lose competition points will soon have everyone complying. Or finger pointing against other clubs who've gotten away with it.
 
gREVUS

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
Any player who stays down in a tackle where there has been a head knock of any level should have to do a concussion check. This would soon stop the fakery time wasting bullshit that we see every game. Any club that doesnt remove a player should have the fines but then be unable to play that player in the next weeks game. And these decisions need to be made faster.

Seriously the 2 worst offenders play off tomorrow night. Neither will give a flying fuck if the get a 20 K fine, 2 months later, if they win the GF. Every player out there will be playing for all they are worth and wont want to come off. Expect the rules to go out the window - player safety be damned
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Any player who stays down in a tackle where there has been a head knock of any level should have to do a concussion check.
Only problem with that is you'll get teams doing it on purpose to milk the free interchange. Like the other points though especially clubs having to stand down the player who breached the rule. Medical staff should also be given 3 warnings then deregistered by the NRL. That would effectively end their on field career...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
gREVUS

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
Only problem with that is you'll get teams doing it on purpose to milk the free interchange. Like the other points though especially clubs having to stand down the player who breached the rule. Medical staff should also be given 3 warnings then deregistered by the NRL. That would effectively end their on field career...
yea i thought about milking it for the free interchange -

My thought is that if they reduced the number of interchanges like they are talking about your going to see a lot more fake interchanges happening anyway. I believe its already happening with a few coaches having people go down about 10 mins before half time to get the longer break and free interchange. Maybe a rule that says if you have more than 3 consecutive reviews in a period of 5 (?) weeks on the last review you have to stand down for player safety for a period of 1-2 weeks anyway?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
gREVUS

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
Only problem with that is you'll get teams doing it on purpose to milk the free interchange. Like the other points though especially clubs having to stand down the player who breached the rule. Medical staff should also be given 3 warnings then deregistered by the NRL. That would effectively end their on field career...
Re the medical staff why not just an independant to review that can not be over ruled by the on field team. A safety inspector if you will.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
New rules for knocks to the head
BEN HEATHER

New concussion guidelines will help prevent another tragedy on sports field, the Accident Compensation Corporation says.

ACC said more than 7000 people suffer head injuries while playing sport a year, costing the corporation $76 million.

ACC chief clinical advisor Dr Peter Robinson said in addition to the financial burden, victims would often suffer from their injuries for years, some for the rest of their life.

"It is no longer acceptable to allow sports participants who sustain a knock to the head to continue to play until a proper medical assessment has been made."

ACC has worked with New Zealand Rugby, New Zealand Rugby League, New Zealand Netball, New Zealand Football and AUT, to develop the new guidelines for handling concussion.

Robinson said the new guidelines would help sporting body recognise concussion symptoms and how to respond. It would also allow sports organisations to develop their own plans for their particular code.

The dangers of head injuries in sport have made headlines recently with the death of 17-year-old Jordan Kemp in July.

The Northland rugby player collapsed during a game in Whangarei and later died. He is believed to have suffered a brain bleed after a clash of heads.

The risks of concussion in sport, particularly rugby, has been raised repeatedly in recent years, with some professional players speaking openly about the crippling impact on their lives of repeated knocks to the head.

The rugby codes have also come under fire for not doing enough to keep players safe, particularly at amateur level, something they have denied.

The ACC Concussion Guidelines set out what to do, how to recognise the signs and symptoms, what action to take and how sports organisations can develop a concussion policy and implementation plan for their particular activity.

ACC has an expert panel available to assist sports organisations and review their policies, plans and education material.

"The important thing is to get everyone involved to ensure a high standard of care across New Zealand," said Dr Robinson.

- Taranaki Daily News

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/63866200/new-rules-for-knocks-to-the-head
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Memory loss pushes Penrith prop Nigel Plum to retire from NRL
MATT ENCARNACION
Last updated 01:46, August 16 2015
1439646360810.jpg

MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES
Panthers prop Nigel Plum embraces family members after his 150th and final NRL match. Plum announced his sudden retirement due to recurring concussions.


It was a conversation he couldn't remember having with his wife that first prompted Penrith prop Nigel Plum to consider hanging up the boots.

But in the end it was a slight knock from a teammate on Friday that forced the NRL's feared hitman to immediately retire after Saturday's 24-10 win over the Warriors.

Having completed his 150th and final NRL match, Plum broke down with family before informing his teammates in the sheds that he was giving the game up due to repeated concussions.

It was the 32-year-old's first game back after suffering a sickening head knock against Canberra in round 20 that he rated worse than another brutal blow he copped in Newcastle last season.

"I just had a few memory issues in the last couple of weeks," Plum said after the game.

"When I forgot them at the time - I remember them now, which is a good thing - I just knew.

"I remember a conversation I had with my wife now, but I had forgotten earlier in the week.

"It was a conversation I had three weeks ago."

The former Raiders and Sydney Rooster said that it was the first time he had suffered a headache through the night and complained of pressure every time he sneezed or coughed for the following week.

"I knew it was worse than what had happened before," he said.

"All I could think about was my family. They come first in my life.

"During that week, I was really considering not playing again. But after I passed all the tests, it was clear I wanted to play again and wanted to finish the four games off."

Plum had already intended to retire at the end of the season but a minor knock from a teammate during the captain's run pushed him into pulling up stumps after the match.

"It wasn't much at all. It was a little tap and it stung me for about five seconds," he said.

"I was sweet from it, but it made me realise that what could happen in the game was a hell of a lot worse than what could happen in there."

While it was repeated concussion that brought a premature end to his career, Plum said the game had made great strides in protecting its players from suffering severe head knocks.

"What the NRL is doing is fantastic," he said.

"They have made some great steps forward in player welfare and having a few head knocks myself, I'm really happy about it.

"Obviously it's only going to get better because they are doing some great things."

Plum made his NRL debut with the Roosters in 2005 before spending three years in the nation's capital between 2007-09.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/leagu...es-penrith-prop-nigel-plum-to-retire-from-nrl
 
snake77

snake77

A bit of a sad read; reading through that article this morning. Good to see he's taken the sensible option and retired early instead of trying to battle out for a few more games.

Congrats on 150 matches and a pretty good career.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
A bit of a sad read; reading through that article this morning. Good to see he's taken the sensible option and retired early instead of trying to battle out for a few more games.

Congrats on 150 matches and a pretty good career.
Picture in that article says it all really. Feel for the guy but he's made the right call.

Don't want to go on like Kevin Campion and start losing sensation to your arm...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

phil.kingston

watching the Penrith/raiders match...and after losing jamie soward for concussion, Penrith basically have nothing in attack. With the way concussion rules are these days (and the penalities associated with breaching them), should we be having a much bigger bench? Not the no. of interchanges, still be 8...but should teams be allowed to carry a spare half, wing/centre, FB etc...so if they do have a player down, they can use an interchange to get a playmaker in....that way the match doesnt turn into a farce
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
bruce

bruce

Contributor
Rugby and dementia:

A Herald investigation has found that five men from a single Ranfurly Shield-winning rugby team have been diagnosed with dementia. Their families attribute their conditions to concussions suffered during their playing days.

This series started a week ago looking at rugby stars from the 1960s who are now suffering dementia. Apparently the trend is seriously more than the national average and is being blamed on concussion, or more to the point successive concussion. I gave it passing notice at first but now it is something that really has to be taken seriously.

There have been about about five articles so far so please excuse me for not posting them all. Just click on this link and they will all be there.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11607991

The latest story is about the Black Panther Waka Nathan.


Part One: The connection between rugby and dementia


The Herald has uncovered a spate of dementia cases among rugby legends, raising the ugly possibility that head injuries suffered during their playing days have contributed to the disease.

READ:
Rugby and dementia: The full story
Head blows behind illness, say families
Team of '64 'revered in the province'
Your views: Should high school rugby games be 'touch' instead of tackle?
Whose job it is to look after them?
Part Two: Medical experts speak out


Top UK neurologists and other medical experts are increasingly seeing persuasive evidence of a link between rugby and dementia.

READ:
Ex-Lion adamant on dementia link
Best of mates bonded by sad decline



Part Three: Future compensation


ACC says it's "quite likely" there will be treatment claims in the future for concussion-caused chronic conditions like dementia.

READ:
ACC bracing for claims
Concussion leads to increased risk of suicide
Midweek fixture with Dylan Cleaver: This is not an anti-rugby story

WATCH:
Former team doctor Donald MacLeod on the long-term effects of playing rugby



Part Four: Rugby boss responds


New Zealand Rugby says the issue of concussion and potential related long-term health consequences remains complicated with no definitive answers.

READ:
NZ Rugby keeping focus on today's players
Rugby boss Steve Tew on dementia: 'It is an incredibly sensitive topic'

WATCH:
Interview with NZ Rugby Union CEO on head injuries



Part Five:


We associate dementia with ageing but there are times this debilitating condition hits hard and hits early.

READ:
Frustrating lapses warned loved ones all was not well
Possible links between head-knocks and dementia 'of interest'

WATCH:
Impact on family

- NZ Herald
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Cheers bruce. A bit to digest but its a topic that interests me. Great that people are talking about. The stupid machoism is being replaced by common sense.

Heres the full article from Maori legend Waka Nathan...

Rugby and dementia: All Black legend Waka Nathan reveals his battle
By Dylan Cleaver
Waka Nathan doesn't just answer the door, he fills it.

This, you can't help but think, is how you want all your sporting heroes to look like when they're 75 - upright and tall, Nathan has an undeniable presence and looks in great health.

On the outside, at least.

Nathan invites us into his apartment at the Bruce McLaren retirement village in East Auckland, where the apartment blocks reflect the auto-racing industry, with names like Hulme, Amon and, in Nathan's case, Monaco.

Nathan folds himself into the couch and tells a story of his bone-carving pendant. It is a story, his family admit, that might have shifted over time, but it doesn't really matter - it is a connection between father and son.

"I was playing a training game at Waikaraka Park," says the Otahuhu club and Auckland stalwart. "And my father [Sam] comes over at halftime and asks if he can make a presentation to his son. He handed me this and said it was a badge of courage. I wear it every day. It goes everywhere with me."

You want to talk about courage? Great. Listen in.

Courage is playing without fear in the loosies for Auckland and the All Blacks in an era when hard men ruled.

Courage is defying snapped Achilles tendons and broken jaws to be so good the French give you a nickname that might not have got past the gatekeepers of today - le Panthere Noir, or the Black Panther.

Courage is defying your in-laws and racial stereotypes to marry the love of your life (and 51 years of marriage, three daughters and seven grandchildren later, who won that argument?).

Most of all, courage is sitting on your couch, in the above-mentioned retirement facility, telling the country you have Alzheimer's disease.

Nathan is not alone. On the day the Herald launched this series which investigates the links between head injuries suffered in rugby and dementia conditions including Alzheimer's, his wife Janis took him to the village library where they read the story about the Taranaki Ranfurly Shield team of 1964, and the plight of five players who have died with, or are suffering from, dementia.

It struck an immediate chord.

"I played with Wolfey and Ross Brown. Wonderful little players. Wonderful men," he says.

SCCZEN_H_231205NZHNATHAN_620x310.jpg

Waka Nathan running with the ball in the All Blacks' victory over Victoria during the 1962 All Black tour of Australia. Photo / Supplied

Nathan was a key part of coach Fred Allen's unbeaten All Black teams of the late-60s and was a bashed-up tourist on the 1967 tour to Canada, the UK and France, where they were hit by a foot-and-mouth outbreak - which prevented them going to Ireland - and from winning a grand slam.

Like that Taranaki team, there's more than one player on that team now suffering from debilitating dementia conditions.

Tony Steel had an eye for the finishing line. A national champion sprinter in the mid-60s, he used that speed to his advantage on the wing for the All Blacks, scoring 20 tries in 23 matches, including seven tries in nine tests.

He was a finisher; the greyhound at the end of the line. If you gave a wing a bit of space on the outside, you expected them to score tries and Steel was better at dotting down than most.

After an Achilles tendon ended his career in 1968, Steel's teaching career took off and he would end up as headmaster of Hamilton Boys' High School from 1980 to 1990.

He wasn't finished with public life, however. In 1990 he became the National MP for Hamilton East, was voted out in 1993 and re-elected to parliament in 1996, where he remained until 2002.

Not long after leaving politics, says wife Raewyn, he began a different sort of battle.

"Tony has had frontal lobe dementia for the past 10 years," she says from Hamilton. "He has been in a private dementia home for the past four years.

"I kept him at home for as long as I could but was no longer able to provide the fundamental care he needed."

Raewyn feels a lot of things about her husband's condition, but mainly it is anger.

"It is heartbreaking. It is terribly, terribly sad. In 2002 he was still an MP, he had his sporting achievements, he was the headmaster of a big, prestigious school and still it didn't make a difference."

Raewyn was not married to Steel during his rugby career, so cannot speak for the injuries he might have endured, though her husband's description of one incident remains vivid.

"He did have some head injuries. There was one terrible injury that broke his cheekbone and the doctor had to put a spoon up inside his mouth to push the bone back out," she says.

That would have been the violent collision with Otago flanker warren Townsend while playing for Canterbury.

Reading the reports from the day is instructive: Steel, who underwent surgery to repair the bone in Burwood hospital, had just one concern - that he would be ready to fly out with the 1967 All Black tourists.

Hard as a bag of spanners
SCCZEN_H_151104NZHLions3_620x310.jpg

Graham Williams dives through the attempted tackles of Telfer and Rutherford to score for Wellington. Photo / Ross Wiggins

If Nathan was the divinely skilled forward and Steel was the flying wing, then Graham Williams was something else altogether.

As hard as a bag of spanners, Williams had an almost maniacal appetite for possession.

"The way he played, you'd think his nose was glued to the ball," says veteran rugby correspondent Wynne Gray.

"He'd get bashed around all the time and he'd keep getting up."

At what cost?

Sharon Williams, Graham's wife, said her husband was struck down by frontal lobe dementia five years ago.

Frontal lobe or frontotemporal dementia affects the the areas associated with personality, behaviour and language. It tends to hit sufferers earlier than Alzheimer's, typically between the age of 40 and 75.

Williams is 71.

A year ago, the former openside flanker was also diagnosed with motor neurone disease, another illness caused by brain dysfunction.

"There is no way of knowing whether one would have happened without the other," Sharon says.

In one of those curious coincidences, it was only a broken jaw suffered by Nathan on that '67 tour that allowed Williams to gain his first test cap.

He played all four tests on the trip and played his fifth and final test in Brisbane in 1968, which also happened to be Wolfe and Steel's last tours as All Blacks.

Despite playing well for Wellington for a number of subsequent seasons - he played a record 174 matches and was an icon of the province - Williams was never picked for the national side again.

Sharon Williams says her husband took numerous head knocks over the course of his career and it is impossible not to consider whether this has played a part in his health struggles.

"As far as Graham is concerned, it has been a very gradual decline," she says.

A sparkle in his eye

SCCZEN_160316NZHBPWAKANATHAN5_620x310.jpg

Ex-All Black loose forward legend Waka Nathan with his wife Janice, at home in Dannemora, Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The inexorable progress of Alzheimer's disease is often measured in three stages. Nathan is at stage two, or the moderate stage.

Moderate Alzheimer's can last for years and is typified by the patient confusing words, getting frustrated or angry, and forgetting events and their personal history.

He first started showing signs of decline after the 2011 World Cup. Daughters Alana and Janine said they assumed the missing "sparkle in the eye" was just the result of tiredness after what had been a busy schedule during the tournament.

"He was such a social person," Janine continues.

"Whenever there was an event or something was happening, dad would always say, 'I'm a starter'. All of a sudden he'd start to say, 'I'll give it a miss'."

Displaced vertebrae weren't helping the cause either. Within months, Nathan had transformed from the life of the World Cup party to man who couldn't sign his own name and was in and out of Middlemore hospital.

Surgery to correct the spine alleviated pressure off the base of his head and physically Nathan returned to regal form, but the sad truth is his brain will never experience a similar recovery.

As a family they've talked about the rugby, talked about the hits - Nathan once played with his jaw wired up after having it broken on the last day of 1963 by Llanelli's Terry Price (who he posed happily for photos with afterwards) - and have reached the sort of murky conclusions most would before realising it wasn't the important thing.

Ensuring a quality of life for their husband and father was more pressing than searching for the reasons why.

Nathan himself is almost blasé about the hits he took. This was the age when admitting pain was seen as a sign of weakness.

"I looked at guys like Colin Meads and Stan Meads. If they were hurt they just carried on playing, so I just thought I should too," Nathan says.

Really, it's only when the subject of his favourite rugby player comes up that Nathan gets animated about the physical price of the game.

McFarlane Herewini was an ethereal presence in an age of power. His ability to ghost down the skinniest of blinds, dummying and shimmying his way into and out of trouble made him must-see at the height of his powers.

That sparkle in Nathan's eyes that went missing a while back is back in full force when he talks about the five-eighth.

"He was a champion little footballer. No two ways about that. I loved watching him play. The way he would step and dummy. Just wonderful."

SCCZEN_180316SPLWAKANATHANHERWINI_620x310.jpg

(L-R) Mac Herewini and Waka Nathan on Waka's wedding day. Photo / Supplied

Herewini's impish style saw him run into traffic jams on the odd occasion, but as he told his son Mac Jnr, he didn't often put himself in a situation where he got "caught".

"In those days the game was tough," Herewini Jnr says.

Herewini was on the tour to Britain in '67, put tragedy struck shortly in and he returned home after his brother, Sandy, died. Somewhat unfairly, a 3-3 draw with East Wales at Cardiff was to be the last time he pulled on the black jersey.

Herewini died in 2014, aged 74, after a series of strokes.

"He had dementia for at least five years before he died," his son said.

"We saw the changes in his personality. He was always a positive person and had purpose in his life but that [the dementia] created a change.

"His behaviour became quite negative."

It would be stretching things to say a little bit of Waka died when his great mate died, but the light certainly dimmed.

"It hit him very hard," says Janine.

"They had a lot of fun together growing up in Otahuhu. In dad's words, Mackie was a 'cheeky little bugger'."

In its own way, the news that another mate, Neil Wolfe, was struggling with dementia also hit him hard, but it lit a fire under him and his family.

So that's why we're here sitting in his apartment, talking to a great man who is proving that Alzheimer's can't strip away your courage.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11607991
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
bruce

bruce

Contributor
Graham Williams dives through the attempted tackles of Telfer and Rutherford to score for Wellington.
Graham Williams was one of the toughest flankers the provincial game has seen. I remember one Wellington game he had to go off and get stitches after a blow to the head. As he ran back on the field he slipped on the concrete and belted his head again. Great player, very sad, a real Michael Luck type of player.
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
A bit to digest but its a topic that interests me. Great that people are talking about. The stupid machoism is being replaced by common sense.
Rugby and dementia: I'm worried, admits Smith
Wayne Smith, the All Black assistant coach whose brain is one of the most sought after in rugby, has admitted to concern over his long-term health after a number of concussions during his playing days.

Smith, 58, who last week signed on as Steve Hansen's assistant coach for the next two years, was a 71kg first-five during his All Black playing days in the 1980s.

"I have a personal concern not [just] for my own welfare but the mates I played with," Smith tells NewstalkZB's Tony Veitch in an extended interview today.

"I would have 'woken up' in the changing rooms three times in my career and probably had another three reasonably major head knocks, and in those days you played the next week.
"The thing that strikes about that was I never played well the next week. Never. There was something inside you telling you that you weren't right ... from that perspective I'm reasonably concerned [about the future]."

Smith, who played 17 tests for the All Blacks, said players in his day did not have the same access to information that modern players did, but that did not necessarily lessen the risk.

"If you look at today the impact is higher and the concussions, where this is more information about them, they also seem to be worse. It's a major challenge for World Rugby and something we're really trying to change."

 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Similar threads

mt.wellington
  • Sticky
Replies
19
Views
2K
snake77
snake77
Wellington Warrior
Replies
1
Views
498
razzrillinger
razzrillinger
Lego_Man
Replies
386
Views
51K
PullinTeeth
PullinTeeth
mt.wellington
  • Poll
2
Replies
39
Views
2K
john nick
john nick
Fenderboy
Replies
7
Views
1K
Inruin
Inruin