This made for sickening viewing.
When Roosters lock Victor Radley bent low to chop down Storm prop Jesse Bromwich in Melbourne on Friday night, he was knocked in the head and left convulsing on the turf.
So serious was the matter late in the game, won 18-14 by the Tricolours, that medical staff from both the Roosters and Storm attended to Radley, before he was carted from the field.
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In scenes that made hearts full again, Radley was back on the ground after full-time and smiling as he greeted his teammates and the opposition.
“That’s most distressing,” Nine caller Mat Thompson had said moments after the collision.
“This is quite nasty.
“We apologize to anyone at home who finds that a little confronting.”
The collision has all but ruled out Radley from the Roosters’ last game of the regular season, against the Rabbitohs at the new Sydney Football Stadium next Friday night.
“He’s back in there and he remembers the whole game except for the tackle, but it also didn’t look good on the field, either,” said Roosters coach Trent Robinson in his post-game press conference.
After a clash packed with brutal moments, the Roosters are sweating on the availability of veteran front-rower Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who was reported twice.
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The Kiwi international was sent to the sin bin during the first half for an ugly move on Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona, which Andrew Johns described as a “chin butt” as a melee broke out.
“I wasn’t sure what exactly the penalty was for,” Robinson said of the Waerea-Hargreaves incident in his post-game press conference.
“But the man’s physical, you know? And that’s what we love about our game, is guys being physical. And Jared decided to play that way and it sort of ends up stifling these guys. He made it a forward’s game tonight, and he got down and dirty. It cost him 10 (minutes), but he set the tone. And that’s what your lead prop does; he sets the tone for the game. And credit to him.”
Waerea-Hargreaves was again reported in the second half for a high tackle on Storm center Justin Olam, but Johns doesn’t believe he’ll be in trouble for that contact.
“He slipped and he missed,” Johns said.
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Roosters prop Lindsay Collins could be set for a stint on the sideline after being reported for a hip-drop tackle on Storm forward Tom Eisenhuth late in the match, while there’s a considerable chance Daniel Tupou won’t play again this season.
The Tricolors winger scored the opening try of the match but was soon done for the night after suffering a groin injury.
The Roosters’ triumph sealed their seventh win on the trot and confirmed their place in the finals, with the Tricolours sitting in sixth on the ladder and on 30 points.
The Storm and Eels are set for a mouthwatering battle in Parramatta next Thursday night, which will decide who clinches fourth on the ladder and receives a double chance.
Melbourne assistant coach Stephen Kearney fronted the press after the Storm’s loss instead of Craig Bellamy, who was suffering from a migraine.
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