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Thread: Concussion, Dementia and Rugby

  1. #26
    In The South Stand Greengrass's Avatar
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    The only place this can end is by tackling being softened down again, being in my 3 score years and 10 I have a common sense approach which may upset people but if you don't want to get hurt then perhaps contact sports, especially rugby and to a lesser degree football, may not be the sports for you.

    At schools yes in my schooldays you were forced to play rugby, football and boxing no running to the solicitor at the first little knock. I am sure all the players who are suing the FA the RFU the RFL were delighted when they got their first professional contract but they knew the risks. Could I sue my former employers for me having to kneel causing Osteo Arthritis which has resulted in me having two knee replacements no I couldn't do my job without kneeling at some point and no I am not a Vicar or a Priest or any other religious figure.

    I don't remember seeing anyone in any Rugby/Football match kicking and screaming and being pushed on to the field by the Coach/Manager. But we live in a different world now where SOMEONE has to be responsible for EVERY action which will end up in doing NOTHING in case you get hurt. I am sure before he got dementia Thompson would have told everybody who asked that he enjoyed every minute of his Rugby Union career.
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    I've long thought that the greatest risk in union scrums now is more on the neck in a situation where one collapses. At least in terms of where the most severe, life-changing injury could occur. It would be a freak accident to a certain extent but the potential imo is there.
    Happened to someone my husband was playing with at school in the 60s. Young man broke his neck and was paralysed from the neck down. Freak accident but tragic.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk Belgian Saint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snellinmo View Post
    Happened to someone my husband was playing with at school in the 60s. Young man broke his neck and was paralysed from the neck down. Freak accident but tragic.
    I was involved in a tackle where that happened. The guy died a week later he was about 25. No one actually knew what happened to break his neck. In fact at the time, although he was taken away from the field, we did not know his neck was broken.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    It’s not difficult to see that the game of Rugby League has changed a lot over the last 15 to 20 years, and it’s no secret that I much preferred the older version when players used to run at gaps, defences were less structured and there were much more breaks, half breaks and open play. Since the early to mid 2000s, the game has evolved with structured defences meaning less opportunity for running play and a higher emphasis on running at the man rather than the gap, with the aim to wear the opposition out, a fact that has been exasperated by a huge flow of forward substitutions.

    My concern many years ago was that this would lead to a cascade of old men with barely functioning joints. However, this would now appear to be the least of our worries.

    You have to wonder if Rugby League is sleepwalking into a dementia epidemic. As the game seems to constantly strive for ways to speed it up, as if speed of collision was the only thing that ever made the game exciting, there is no doubt that the capacity for head injuries in Rugby League is higher than almost any other sport. Morally, should this game really be continuing to speed up the game for some Roman ‘Christians to the lions like’ fetish for new-wave fans to see bigger hits, now knowing what we do? I would say no.

    However, what can the game do to minimise what many behind the scenes must fear will become an avalanche of cases in a generation or two’s time?
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    I agree with that i think most people who watched the game when as DD says players no matter how tough they were tried to ru through gaps was better .

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    One thing that could help is if the RFL say, wearing head-guards is compulsory, regardless of age or level of Rugby League.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greengrass View Post
    The only place this can end is by tackling being softened down again, being in my 3 score years and 10 I have a common sense approach which may upset people but if you don't want to get hurt then perhaps contact sports, especially rugby and to a lesser degree football, may not be the sports for you.

    At schools yes in my schooldays you were forced to play rugby, football and boxing no running to the solicitor at the first little knock. I am sure all the players who are suing the FA the RFU the RFL were delighted when they got their first professional contract but they knew the risks. Could I sue my former employers for me having to kneel causing Osteo Arthritis which has resulted in me having two knee replacements no I couldn't do my job without kneeling at some point and no I am not a Vicar or a Priest or any other religious figure.

    I don't remember seeing anyone in any Rugby/Football match kicking and screaming and being pushed on to the field by the Coach/Manager. But we live in a different world now where SOMEONE has to be responsible for EVERY action which will end up in doing NOTHING in case you get hurt. I am sure before he got dementia Thompson would have told everybody who asked that he enjoyed every minute of his Rugby Union career.
    I totally agree with you, I grew up in your era and football was a brutal game injury wise then, but not once when I took to a football or rugby pitch was I forced to do it.Maybe the only way round this is to ask players to sign wavers if not I fear for sport and life in general, by the way I have had 5 pretty major knee ops , but all the hurt that came with them would, nt take away the joys of winning finals and having a few beers with the mates after a loss.

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    John Wilkin forewarned all this about 3 or 4 years ago and re addressed it last year when it got worse:-


    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...-a8985881.html

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    I found it really hard to watch the Steve Thompson interview, not only has doing what he loved pretty much cost him his future, but now he can’t remember it.

    Did anyone watch the Aaron Hernandez documentary on Netflix? His brain was a mess when they examined it and those guys are wearing helmets.

    We all want the rough and tough sport we love but not at this cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    It’s not difficult to see that the game of Rugby League has changed a lot over the last 15 to 20 years, and it’s no secret that I much preferred the older version when players used to run at gaps, defences were less structured and there were much more breaks, half breaks and open play. Since the early to mid 2000s, the game has evolved with structured defences meaning less opportunity for running play and a higher emphasis on running at the man rather than the gap, with the aim to wear the opposition out, a fact that has been exasperated by a huge flow of forward substitutions.

    My concern many years ago was that this would lead to a cascade of old men with barely functioning joints. However, this would now appear to be the least of our worries.

    You have to wonder if Rugby League is sleepwalking into a dementia epidemic. As the game seems to constantly strive for ways to speed it up, as if speed of collision was the only thing that ever made the game exciting, there is no doubt that the capacity for head injuries in Rugby League is higher than almost any other sport. Morally, should this game really be continuing to speed up the game for some Roman ‘Christians to the lions like’ fetish for new-wave fans to see bigger hits, now knowing what we do? I would say no.

    However, what can the game do to minimise what many behind the scenes must fear will become an avalanche of cases in a generation or two’s time?

    I have been a fan of reducing teams to 12 a side and compulsory head protection for some years, it would help bring about what you suggest above and open the game up to smaller faster players. more gaps to run at and a reduction in gang tackles.

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    It's a very difficult issue, a lot of the injuries in union are caused at the contested scrum and breakdown you don't get those issues with league

    However with league you will get much more ball in play and much more tackling and a lot more collisions , I think League needs to be tougher on high tackles any head shot even if accidental should be a straight red

    I'm not sure if this is confirmed but I did read once most concussions from tackles are when the tackler goes low and collides with the carriers legs but maybe I got this wrong

    There is only so much any governing body can do for player safety, league and union are collision sports and injuries are going to happen.

    Both Popham and Thompson the two highest profile union players in this case played club rugby in France and they apparently the training regime there is very physical with up to 4 contact sessions a week

    Some of the ideas suggested are to reduce the number of subs ,make head guards compulsory and limit the number of contact training sessions players can have but we are still going to get injuries including concussion's sadly, it simply is the nature of both sports

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Parrer View Post
    I have been a fan of reducing teams to 12 a side and compulsory head protection for some years, it would help bring about what you suggest above and open the game up to smaller faster players. more gaps to run at and a reduction in gang tackles.
    I reckon it's the Union game that needs to go down to 13 a side, that would be less load on the scrum and less people condensed into the flying ruck.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostik Bailey View Post
    Another issue with this is the cynical use of the HIA substitution by Warrington and others to get a free sub. This leads to a boy who cried wolf scenario.

    We need some sort of fair play code all teams sign up to so when someone goes off with a Head injury and the subsequent video shows that there was no head contact a lengthy ban should ensue. Or more than one HIA in four weeks and a two week rest (or something like that)

    Warrington use it more cynically than that - they have the tactic of when the opposition has made a big break or is getting on a roll in a set and the Wire defence struggling to get organised, especially when close to the Wire tryline, one of the Wire players involved in a tackle will stay down holding their head, most frequently Hill. The ref will stop the game while they get seen to. The Wire defence is able to get reorganised and some air into their lungs before the next tackle. The chance for the opposition is gone.

    It's cynical cheating
    Last edited by Webbo Again; 10th December 2020 at 11:20.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    It’s not difficult to see that the game of Rugby League has changed a lot over the last 15 to 20 years, and it’s no secret that I much preferred the older version when players used to run at gaps, defences were less structured and there were much more breaks, half breaks and open play. Since the early to mid 2000s, the game has evolved with structured defences meaning less opportunity for running play and a higher emphasis on running at the man rather than the gap, with the aim to wear the opposition out, a fact that has been exasperated by a huge flow of forward substitutions.

    My concern many years ago was that this would lead to a cascade of old men with barely functioning joints. However, this would now appear to be the least of our worries.

    You have to wonder if Rugby League is sleepwalking into a dementia epidemic. As the game seems to constantly strive for ways to speed it up, as if speed of collision was the only thing that ever made the game exciting, there is no doubt that the capacity for head injuries in Rugby League is higher than almost any other sport. Morally, should this game really be continuing to speed up the game for some Roman ‘Christians to the lions like’ fetish for new-wave fans to see bigger hits, now knowing what we do? I would say no.

    However, what can the game do to minimise what many behind the scenes must fear will become an avalanche of cases in a generation or two’s time?

    Spot on, Dave

    I guess the celebrating huge impacts is a sort of entertainment compensation for the much-reduced amount of half-breaks, clean breaks and general broken play running.

    I know you aren't at all a fan of the quick PTB and runs from dummy half that we used to so much success in the late 90's and early-/mid-00's but, as I have said, it was a great tool to create that disorganisation in opposition defences - we didn't score that many tries direct from a run from dummy half, but on the next play (or play after that) as the ball was passed to players running at a defence that hadn't been able to get set, so had gaps to run into.

    I bang on about it, but the biggest step back this game has taken was when they abandoned the principle of enforcing a quick PTB, allowing defenders more time to clear the tackle (which gave rise to 'the wrestle' and the practice of getting 3 or 4 defenders into the tackle before it's complete, then each peeling off one at a time), which allows defences to be set well in time for the PTB. This is compounded by a loosening of the enforcement of the 10m offside.

    The game is set up for attritional play, as you say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    Spot on, Dave

    I guess the celebrating huge impacts is a sort of entertainment compensation for the much-reduced amount of half-breaks, clean breaks and general broken play running.

    I know you aren't at all a fan of the quick PTB and runs from dummy half that we used to so much success in the late 90's and early-/mid-00's but, as I have said, it was a great tool to create that disorganisation in opposition defences - we didn't score that many tries direct from a run from dummy half, but on the next play (or play after that) as the ball was passed to players running at a defence that hadn't been able to get set, so had gaps to run into.

    I bang on about it, but the biggest step back this game has taken was when they abandoned the principle of enforcing a quick PTB, allowing defenders more time to clear the tackle (which gave rise to 'the wrestle' and the practice of getting 3 or 4 defenders into the tackle before it's complete, then each peeling off one at a time), which allows defences to be set well in time for the PTB. This is compounded by a loosening of the enforcement of the 10m offside.

    The game is set up for attritional play, as you say.
    I can’t disagree with any of this, ive been watching some of our old games on YouTube and they are so much better to watch than the current product on show. The lack of broken play means the game has become a slugfest, sides trying to batter each other to create space, leading to increasing incidences of concussion, i have no doubt if the game was able to be sped up you wont see anywhere near as many concussions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Feelgood View Post
    Closer to home, Darrell Goulding and Lance Hohaiah both retired due to the effects of concussion.
    Hohaiah certainly did but I think Goulding was a different matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    Warrington use it more cynically than that - they have the tactic of when the opposition has made a big break or is getting on a roll in a set and the Wire defence struggling to get organised, especially when close to the Wire tryline, one of the Wire players involved in a tackle will stay down holding their head, most frequently Hill. The ref will stop the game while they get seen to. The Wire defence is able to get reorganised and some air into their lungs before the next tackle. The chance for the opposition is gone.

    It's cynical cheating
    They are about as predictable as us giving the Ball to Walmsley to drive into their forwards.
    However I am hoping that the situation in Union will lead to a more stringent view of head highs in RL. I don't mean the type were a defender is wrong footed and the attacker gets a slap with an open hand, but we have seen some cynical ones the last few games that were treated leniently and differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    Yes but Hohaia’s was due to attempted GBH rather than the wear and tear of rugby.
    Hohaia retired because he had a rich missus and wasn’t arsed about playing for us anyway. Im a bit sick of all this talk about ex players looking for reparations. They will just eventually kill any contact sport. I played amateur league with plenty head hunting nutters and took plenty knocks. Its just how it goes.
    Its like Roy Castle suing trumpet makers because he chose to blow it in smoke filled nightclubs. F*** me.
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