The Gold Coast Titans initial fine of $150,000 for breaching the NRL’s head injury rules in Round Three has been slashed by $100,000.
The NRL today finalised sanctions against the Titans, St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights, who all had fines totalling $350,000 laid against them over the head knock breaches.
CEO Todd Greenberg said that, following consideration of submissions from the club, the Titans would be fined $50,000 with $100,000 suspended, for incidents involving Kane Elgey and Ryan Simpkins.
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In a letter to each club, Mr Greenberg emphasised that the NRL did not question the commitment, integrity or professionalism of their medical and training staff.
“We acknowledge the difficult job they face in the modern game and we are exploring ways to provide more support to our medical officers,” he said.
The NRL noted that none of the clubs had previously breached the head injury protocols and it had therefore been decided to suspend part of the penalty.
Mr Greenberg said the suspended portion of the fines will only be imposed if the clubs breach the head injury rules again during the next 12 months.
“These penalties are another reminder to all clubs that player safety is vitally important and we will take a tough stand against any breach of the head injury assessment rules,” he said.
Mr Greenberg said he was pleased by the game’s response since the breach notices were issued.
“All clubs have acted responsibly to remove players from the field for head injury assessments and we hope and expect that will continue,” he said.
Mr Greenberg said the three clubs could accept their sanctions or apply to take their cases to the NRL Appeals Committee.