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It could have left Thaiday a paraplegic, warns Gibbs

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Guest, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    +0 / 0
    By Dean Ritchie | September 23, 2008 12:00am

    A LEADING Sydney medical expert has condemned Cameron Smith's grapple tackle and claimed it could have left Broncos' forward Sam Thaiday a paraplegic.
    Sports doctor Nathan Gibbs and renowned orthopaedic surgeon Merv Cross spoke emotionally about the dire consequences the NRL faced over the grapple tackle.

    Gibbs, a former Souths and Parramatta forward who is now club doctor for the Sydney Swans, compared the grapple to WWE wrestling.

    The drama comes after Smith was charged by the NRL match review committee yesterday with grade one contrary conduct (unnecessary conduct with head or neck).

    He is facing a two-match suspension and must now beat the charge at the NRL judiciary hearing tomorrow night to avoid been suspended for the rest of this season.

    The Storm have blown out to $2.25 in betting since Smith was charged, but remain NRL favourites. The match review committee made their decision after receiving four additional angles from Channel 9.

    Related LinksYour vote: Should Cameron Smith be banned?
    Photo Gallery: see the tackle for yourself
    In a Daily Telegraph online poll, 82 per cent (2404) said Smith should be charged while 17 per cent (500) were against the decision. Smith will be defended by leading Sydney barrister, Geoff Bellew, QC, who was last night viewing video of the incident.

    Gibbs was critical of the tackle. "The most likely consequence is that it could render a player unconscious,'' Gibbs said.

    "It is akin to a choker hold. It's like a WWE wrestling hold but this is real. If a player wrenches the neck and then pulls the head away, you can injure the spine.

    "If that happens, there is a range of potentially serious consequences -the worst being damage to the spinal cord which could lead to a player becoming a paraplegic. We don't want one of these injuries to happen then say we should have done something about it.''

    Cross, an ex-NRL board member, wants all tackles below the nipple line and a ban on gang tackling. "He (Smith) practically strangled him - it was around the throat,'' Cross said. "No tackles should be above the badge or nipple line.

    "I mentioned this when I was on the NRL board but they took no notice. By doing this we would once and for all prevent the grapple tackle. We shouldn't have gang tackles either. There should only be two allowed in a tackle.''

    Melbourne are angry at the Smith charge with football manager Frank Ponissi saying: "We've got to take the emotion out.''

    If Smith is suspended, Melbourne would choose between Matt Geyer and Russell Aitkin as their new hooker and dummy half.

    Storm's Jeremy Smith was also charged with a grade one "chicken wing'' tackle for unnecessary pressure to the arm and shoulder of Thaiday in the same tackle. He can accept a one-week ban with an early guilty plea.
  2. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    +2,287 / 60
    If expert opinion is that it could have left Thaiday a paraplegic, what could it do to a typical kid with a toothpick neck?

    Yes its open floodgates at NRL level if the judiciary backs down - but even more concerning is the open floodgates at junior levels.  Kids model on their stars.

    What responsible parent would let their kid play League in that environment?
  3. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,239 / 7
    'renowned orthopaedic surgeon Merv Cross

    Is he still working ? Excellent surgeon.

    He did my knee years ago. Cant recommend him highly enough.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    +0 / 0
    His reputation exceeds his ability.  There are better orthopedic surgeons around these days.  he was the pioneer but has been superceeded
  5. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +212 / 5
    Merv Cross was a legend. One surgeon suggested surgery for me and Merv suggested rest and six weeks physio. Never had a problem  with my knees again. So many who did have surgery in those early days have had no end of problems due to pioneering techniques. There is so much more knowledge on knees today.

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