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Thread: Stevie Ward

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    Default Stevie Ward

    Had a read of this today and found it very sad and sobering. Itís a story that largely seems to fly under the radar given all the fundraising and so on at present.

    His comments re Christmas and fear of dark nights I found really sad. Really hope in time his symptoms improve to give him a normal quality of life.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.d...?client=safari

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.O.88 View Post
    Had a read of this today and found it very sad and sobering. It’s a story that largely seems to fly under the radar given all the fundraising and so on at present.

    His comments re Christmas and fear of dark nights I found really sad. Really hope in time his symptoms improve to give him a normal quality of life.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.d...?client=safari
    Puts last weeks yellow cards into context. Hope he does recover.

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    It’s a sobering read. It does put the yellow cards into context but his successive injuries weren’t from head shots. He was tackling in both cases and the first was “friendly fire” and the other a head clash.

    The article raises questions about current concussion protocols and the amount of contact players should have. Hasn’t RU just limited contact in training or have I got that wrong? Reading between the lines, it also raises questions about players’ own attitudes to injury and we still see them showing reluctance to leave the field when they fail “head tests”. It’s a very sad story and I wonder how he’ll manage economically and otherwise having lost his career and suffering from symptoms that seem to make it impossible for him to function in any normal way.

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    Puts things into context and I wish him all the best.

    The RFL need to be careful, you can understand why these protocols are in place because the RFL doesn't want to be sued and then bankrupt however it is affecting the product on the pitch. Teams are taking advantage with head assesments instead of using a sub and also know that the ref has to stop play if a player is down. I'm sure playere are told to stay down if the opposition is gaining an advantage. Last week Leeds did it in the first half. All the clubs have a responsibility to not take advantage of such a serious problem but they all do and it is affecting our game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintJon View Post
    Teams are taking advantage with head assesments instead of using a sub and also know that the ref has to stop play if a player is down. I'm sure playere are told to stay down if the opposition is gaining an advantage. Last week Leeds did it in the first half. All the clubs have a responsibility to not take advantage of such a serious problem but they all do and it is affecting our game.


    Given it makes fans less sympathetic to genuine cases (because we don't know when a player is actually suffering or whether it's a tactic to halt the game when your team is on the ropes), it's a shocking and disgraceful indictment of the depths some coaches/players will sink to. People in the game - both those who have the best interests of the players at heart, or those suffering from ongoing effects - are doing their utmost to find solutions, whilst grubby turds are gaming the system to gain an advantage for their team, potentially putting all the protocols into disrepute in the minds of fans.
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    It’s a sobering read and really puts some context behind the increased bans/cards given out for tackles involving players’ heads. It’s not to make the game soft or to take some enjoyment (does anyone actually enjoy seeing dazed and/or knocked out blokes anyway?) out of the game but for protection of players now and in later life, which is vital.
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    Bigger fines would soon put a stop to shots to the head.

    I agree high shots should just be stamped out.
    Even falling in the tackle, you just have to have that responsibility not to put in a high shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSaint View Post
    Bigger fines would soon put a stop to shots to the head.

    I agree high shots should just be stamped out.
    Even falling in the tackle, you just have to have that responsibility not to put in a high shot.
    While i agree that high shots cause problems,you can't just stamp them out as there are so many factors that come into play. The Matautia one being a perfect example,if you are set for the tackle and the tackle would hit a legal area of the body then you can't at the last moment pull out if a player slips,there just isn't time to react that fast.

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    I wonder if it is just lack of information, but we do not seem to hear of many players from earlier era's, when there were certainly more head shots, suffering the after affects later in life.
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    I'd say easily 9 out of 10 times when I've had a minor head injury with dizziness, ears ringing etc. in tackles (which happens pretty often tbh!) it's when I'm tackling, not running a ball in. It's catching a stray elbow, knee, hip, your team mates head, the list goes on.

    So whilst obviously high tackles need to be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately, I also feel that even if you give stupid bans for them I doubt it would see a significant decrease in head injuries and concussion symptoms.

    I think it's just the nature of the sport with all the collisions that happen.

    What I was surprised by was the 6 day rule? Surely that should be extended to about 15-18 days or so, ensuring you have 2 weekends free of matches before you can play again? I've only had concussion once and I was off work for 2 weeks, it's absolutely horrible. How on earth somebody can play a game again a week later is beyond me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Moore View Post
    I wonder if it is just lack of information, but we do not seem to hear of many players from earlier era's, when there were certainly more head shots, suffering the after affects later in life.
    Different eras. If a man of Stevie Ward's time has frequent migraines they will raise it. Knowledge of the subject of head injury is far greater and thankfully the stigma around it is reducing a lot now. Players from previous generations would get knocked out very frequently, but wouldn't mention the symptoms for fear of missing out on their income and role in the team. They would also likely suffer from it and ultimate end up with dementia or problems in later life. Up until recently if a player who played 40 years ago was diagnosed with dementia would we have heard about it? Nick Fozzard is an example of this. On Twitter he'll mention the side effects he still has from playing the game, but then a few minutes later will bemoan things like players being sent off for high shots as lessening the game.

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    Additionally, the game has markedly changed. It's only in the last 20 years or so that players stopped mainly trying to run at gaps or around the man, and now run directly at defenders (trying to dominate in the tackle). Players run in much faster, and repeatedly so as they're fitter. Defences are more set. Defenders tackle more upright. All this means the collisions are way more intense than they used to be, and occur at a higher part of the body.
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    We also moved to the 10 metre rule, so players are at a much faster speed at the time of impact. I've often argued that maybe we should go back to a five or seven metre rule which maybe would encourage more "crafty" halfbacks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Moore View Post
    I wonder if it is just lack of information, but we do not seem to hear of many players from earlier era's, when there were certainly more head shots, suffering the after affects later in life.
    Ade Gardener did a podcast a few months ago about the back end of his career and how he suffered from concussion effects, I think the fans were on his back at times when in reality he still stayed on the pitch with concussion. At the time the saints players were expected to shake it off, I often wondered how Jammer stayed on the field when we played against Leeds at Leeds and all the forwards were hitting him head high to ruffle his feathers, he just moaned about the rough treatment but carried on.

    Of our current players, Matty Lees seems to be on the end of a fair number of "car crashes" with his quick upright running style. Percival is a similar style he has picked up loads of facial injuries this season.

    https://www.superleague.co.uk/articl...e-ade-gardner-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogues Gallery View Post
    We also moved to the 10 metre rule, so players are at a much faster speed at the time of impact. I've often argued that maybe we should go back to a five or seven metre rule which maybe would encourage more "crafty" halfbacks.
    Warrington moved back to 5m a few years ago, now.
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    My thoughts are maybe that we should play no more than 1 game per week to guarantee at least some sort of recovery time.

    My other suggestion is that skull caps should be mandatory. If we have a clear form of protection while maybe not absolute, surely we should use them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.O.88 View Post
    My thoughts are maybe that we should play no more than 1 game per week to guarantee at least some sort of recovery time.

    My other suggestion is that skull caps should be mandatory. If we have a clear form of protection while maybe not absolute, surely we should use them.
    Skull caps literally protect your ears.

    Its the sharpe , jolting movement of the head that rattles the brain on the inside.



    I really feel for the lad, i hope Leeds are taking good care of him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.O.88 View Post
    My thoughts are maybe that we should play no more than 1 game per week to guarantee at least some sort of recovery time.

    My other suggestion is that skull caps should be mandatory. If we have a clear form of protection while maybe not absolute, surely we should use them.
    It's an almost impossible task at this point to pinpoint what the right course of action is, with our limited understanding of concussions. As in Stevie Ward's case, the two impact events were a few weeks apart but the cumulative trauma still badly affected him. Whilst the current protocols do allow for some recovery time, it's difficult to know if that's enough in every situation. It's an unfortunate risk of contact sport but one that in the modern game all players are aware of. Until we have a greater understanding of diagnosing the severity of the brain trauma and its long term effects it's mostly a guessing game.

    Unfortunately skull caps provide little to no protection against impact injuries, they stop cuts and abrasions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    Warrington moved back to 5m a few years ago, now.
    And there are no hidden concussions there, they are down as soon as they are under pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.O.88 View Post
    My thoughts are maybe that we should play no more than 1 game per week to guarantee at least some sort of recovery time.

    My other suggestion is that skull caps should be mandatory. If we have a clear form of protection while maybe not absolute, surely we should use them.
    The compressed fixtures this year have not helped player health and welfare generally. The traditional Good Friday/Easter Monday fixtures donít help either. In a well regulated League I agree that fixtures exactly one week apart would be ideal but the Super League have a Sky contract to fulfil and Sky have no direct responsibility to players even though the commentary team go on about player welfare, particularly in relation to concussion protocols.

    Someone has already pointed out that scrum caps protect the ears and the crash helmet type helmets worn by American Football players donít prevent concussion. Their helmets and body armour may actually make matters worse.

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    I'd probably been more inclined to say that scrum caps lessen the initial impact, so whilst not preventing concussion may partially reduce it's severity. However not enough top level players wear them to give any conclusive evidence, if anything given Chris Hill's volume of HIAs, it would suggest wearing one increases the risk!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suttoner View Post
    The compressed fixtures this year have not helped player health and welfare generally. The traditional Good Friday/Easter Monday fixtures don’t help either. In a well regulated League I agree that fixtures exactly one week apart would be ideal but the Super League have a Sky contract to fulfil and Sky have no direct responsibility to players even though the commentary team go on about player welfare, particularly in relation to concussion protocols.

    Someone has already pointed out that scrum caps protect the ears and the crash helmet type helmets worn by American Football players don’t prevent concussion. Their helmets and body armour may actually make matters worse.

    Interesting point. I would have thought the skull caps offered a little more than you say but I don’t know this as fact. I thought that would be the reason Lomax wears his as he’s previously had trauma from a car accident or something along those lines from what I recall?

    Surely they do more than protect a guys appearance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.O.88 View Post
    Interesting point. I would have thought the skull caps offered a little more than you say but I don’t know this as fact. I thought that would be the reason Lomax wears his as he’s previously had trauma from a car accident or something along those lines from what I recall?

    Surely they do more than protect a guys appearance?
    He had a head knock playing school rugby, unfortunately leading to a bleed on the brain.

    There is no evidence to suggest that headgear does anything to prevent concussions and is in fact detrimental, there is a study linked below if you are interested in any further reading.

    https://thejns.org/downloadpdf/journ...ticle-pE12.pdf

    Edit: The study shows the issues that headgear can bring whilst referencing the lack of data to support any reduction in concussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.O.88 View Post
    Interesting point. I would have thought the skull caps offered a little more than you say but I donít know this as fact. I thought that would be the reason Lomax wears his as heís previously had trauma from a car accident or something along those lines from what I recall?

    Surely they do more than protect a guys appearance?
    Iíve done a search about scrum caps and there are different opinions about their efficacy:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=do...&client=safari

    Someone with medical knowledge would be better placed to comment further but direct blows to the head are only part of the story. They possibly have worse problems in American Football but their head gear offers more obvious protection. All I know is that the risks associated with concussion need proper consideration and the players need the best advice available to mitigate the risks. If people begin to associate rugby (both codes) with concussion and brain injury risks it may start to kill the game. Perhaps the governing bodies of all ball in hand forms of football need to pool resources to get the best advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suttoner View Post
    I’ve done a search about scrum caps and there are different opinions about their efficacy:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=do...&client=safari

    Someone with medical knowledge would be better placed to comment further but direct blows to the head are only part of the story. They possibly have worse problems in American Football but their head gear offers more obvious protection. All I know is that the risks associated with concussion need proper consideration and the players need the best advice available to mitigate the risks. If people begin to associate rugby (both codes) with concussion and brain injury risks it may start to kill the game. Perhaps the governing bodies of all ball in hand forms of football need to pool resources to get the best advice.
    This is the worry and a good idea to help address the issue.

    Specifically in RL, we still have many fans clamouring to 'bring back the biff', allow shoulder charges back in to the game etc... the players these days are as big and strong as they've ever been. The evolution of sports science has really developed S&C training, with specific power training too. A lot of the new rules which get criticized over here such as six again, has largely been well received in the NRL, making the game faster and bringing more fatigue in to the game. Whether there will be a trend for players to carry less mass as coaches adapt to the changes will be something that may happen as well.
    *Not to be confused with Mike Stephenson, MBE

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