Concussion research gives Roosters an edge with Tedesco

Scott Bailey |

Roosters star James Tedesco receives medical attention after being injured against the Bulldogs.
Roosters star James Tedesco receives medical attention after being injured against the Bulldogs.

Trent Robinson has played down concerns over James Tedesco’s latest concussion, confident the Sydney Roosters captain is well on the path to recovery.

Tedesco will miss Thursday night’s clash against the Knights after being knocked out trying to tackle a rampaging Viliame Kikau in last week’s game against the Bulldogs.

Externally, the head knock raised concerns over the fullback’s future, with the concussion believed to be the 10th of his career.

James Tedesco tackles the Bulldogs' Viliame Kikau.
James Tedesco came off second best when he tackled the Bulldogs’ Viliame Kikau. (James Gourley/AAP PHOTOS)

Tedesco himself has been largely unfazed by the situation, stating publicly last Saturday that he had pulled up fine from the knock.

Robinson has also taken confidence.

The Roosters are among the most cautious clubs in the NRL when it comes to concussions, having regularly given players extended breaks to recover.

They also sent medical staff to Pittsburgh last year for further studies on head knocks, including diagnosing different types in line with symptoms.

And with that in mind, Robinson is confident the latest incident is not a major concern for his fullback.

“We feel like we’re in a really good spot compared to where a lot of judgment has been in the last few years,” he said. 

Roosters coach Trent Robinson (left)
Roosters coach Trent Robinson (left) has played down concerns over James Tedesco’s concussion. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

“We’re more advanced to look after our players. 

“And within that, Ted’s been in a really good space. 

“The day after the game he was really clear on conversations he had with the referee … and different discussions before he went off. 

“So that memory was quite clear. It is definitely symptoms-based, and he’s on the right track there.”

Robinson said the Pittsburgh trip had prompted his medical staff to look differently at concussions.

“We’ve probably learned more in the last year around concussions than any other time,” he said. 

“A lot of people see concussion as one thing. We’ve done a lot of research. 

“If you hurt your leg, people will start saying ‘Well, what did you hurt? Did you hurt your knee? Did you hurt your hammy?’ 

“When people ask about did you get concussion, there’s no more questions, where it’s a little bit deeper than that. 

“There’s different types of concussions. And then there’s different treatments to that from what we’ve learned, so that’s been a real benefit for us.”

Robinson also conceded the NRL’s bunker was right to send off winger Dom Young for a high shot on Blake Taaffe last week against Canterbury.

After the match the coach said the call was inconsistent with other high shots, but he changed his position on Wednesday.

“From me reviewing it again and talking to both referees, it was definitely a send-off,” Robinson said.

“The technical points and actions of Dom didn’t look like a send-off, but the result of his actions definitely did.”