NSW captain Boyd Cordner will undergo further concussion tests after another scare in the Blues’ shock State of Origin loss to Queensland.
- NSW captain Boyd Cordner returned to play after a head knock in State of Origin I in Adelaide
- Cordner missed seven games for the Sydney Roosters in 2020 because of concussions
- The 28-year-old has had problems in recent years, suffering several head knocks in big games
A dazed Cordner, who has suffered three recent rounds of concussion, was helped from Adelaide Oval early in Wednesday night’s series opener.
Cordner copped an accidental blow to the head, and then hip, when he got into an awkward position trying to tackle Queenslander Felise Kaufusi.
The 28-year-old was assisted from the field for the mandatory 15 minutes under concussion protocols amid fears over his recent history of head knocks.
But Cordner returned to action after passing concussion tests.
“I obviously got a head knock, come in and spent some time with the doctor to do the HIA,” he said.
“Passed that, was fit to go back on and play, so got back on and played.
“I have sought the best advice during the year. I will keep doing that, I will work closely with the medical staff.”
Making matters worse for NSW in their 18-14 loss, Cordner’s replacement Cameron Murray limped off shortly afterwards.
Murray will have scans on a possible hamstring or hip injury.
“I’m a coach, there are protocols and we’ll follow the protocols,” Blues coach Brad Fittler said in a post-match press conference when asked about the captain’s return to the field.
However in September, after Cordner’s previous concussion while playing for Sydney Roosters against Newcastle, Fittler described the player as “his [own] number one enemy” at times, given his instinct to push through pain to play for his team.
Elias says Cordner should think about future
Former NSW Origin great Ben Elias expressed serious concern for Cordner after his latest incident.
“He [Cordner] has had a lot of history [with concussion]. I do worry about him in a lot of ways, I know the man personally, he’s a wonderful, wonderful human being,” Elias told Fox Sports.
“I worry about him because he has had too many knocks, he is our captain, he is our showpiece [player] for NSW, this is the biggest rugby league game — and to get him one more knock and really put him in Disneyland would be a real disappointment.
“It’s a tough decision because you don’t want to not play a State of Origin game.
“One more bad knock could be the one that knocks you out [for good] and I’d hate to see that happen because all hell would break loose if something unfortunate happened next time he got knocked out.”
Worrying history of head knocks
Pre-game, Cordner shrugged off concerns at his string of concussions after missing seven games for the Sydney Roosters this season because of head knocks.
The Blues stalwart suffered his first bout of concussion in a round eight loss to Melbourne.
He returned a fortnight later but copped a knock to the head in training.
Cordner sat out for a further five weeks, consulting a specialist about headaches, before returning in round 16.
He suffered yet another knock against the Knights in round 18.
Cordner came back from that setback in round 20 but was a shadow of himself in the defending premiers’ semi-final loss to Canberra.
It all prompted questions over his future, and a staunch defence of the Roosters’ concussion protocols by coach Trent Robinson.
In 2018, he suffered a head knock during round four, passed a head injury assessment and returned to the field.
A few months later, in Origin II, he suffered memory loss in a sickening clash with Dylan Napa.
And last year, Cordner stood himself down after what he described as the worst concussion of his career.