Prince hurt in thrilling loss to Broncos
July 6, 2007 - 11:09PM
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has called for urgent changes to protect kickers after star Gold Coast halfback Scott Prince was rushed to hospital after being injured in Brisbane's thrilling 19-18 golden-point win.
The victory came at a high price for Brisbane who have lost centre Justin Hodges (hamstring) for four to six weeks while Titans forward Michael Hodgson (knee) is gone for the season and James Stosic has torn his medial ligament.
Prince, crunched in a tackle late in the game after making a kick, was put on a drip and transported by ambulance as concerns grew for his health.
Unconfirmed reports said Prince's collarbone in his left shoulder may have broken and gone into his airway.
Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer kicked a spectacular field goal in the first minute of golden point which bounced off both uprights to snatch a 19-18 win in front of a massive crowd of more than 48,000.
Minutes before Lockyer's match-winner - his 16th field goal in his record equalling 274th premiership game - Prince was assisted from the field in agony.
Titans coach John Cartwright was concerned about Prince's health but did not want to speculate on how serious his injury may be.
He said he knew Prince had injured his collarbone and that there was a complication that it could have been putting pressure on his sternum or spine.
Bennett, who lured Prince from North Queensland to Brisbane where he suffered three serious leg injuries before going to the Tigers, called on officials to immediately introduce a "no contact" rule to safe-guard kickers from serious injury.
Cronulla halfback Brett Kimmorley is facing a long stint on the sidelines after being injured in Wednesday night's State of Origin when brought down by Queensland forward Steve Price.
While Bennett didn't see the incident which led to Prince being hurt, he said it was high time kickers were better looked after.
"The game doesn't protect the kickers enough," said Bennett.
"I get sick of seeing him (Darren Lockyer) getting knocked over week after week and the game has to do something about it.
"There has to be better protection for the kickers.
"My heart goes in my throat every time I see him kick and someone comes through late and I believe they deserve protection.
"It's up the game to say 'hey, this is not going to be acceptable' and I don't think contact after the kick has gone is acceptable.
"I don't believe in any shape, whether it's your legs or your head or whatever, it doesn't matter.
"That's their most vulnerable time and they need to be protected.