A leading doctor says an incident in the Dragons-Sharks match highlights the need for urgent change.

One of Australia’s leading experts on sports concussion injuries has slammed the NRL over the decision to allow Dragons fullback Matt Dufty to return to the field yesterday.

Dr Adrian Cohen also questioned the future of Roosters skipper Jake Friend after he suffered yet another head knock against Manly at the SCG.

“Matt Dufty was visibly and undeniably UNCONSCIOUS following a forearm to the back of the head in the St George (Illawarra) v Cronulla game,” Dr Cohen said.

“He left the field for an HIA in the 19th minute of the game and returned in the 34th minute.

“The NRL’s Guidelines for the Management of Concussion in Rugby League lists ‘loss of consciousness’ as a visible clue in the recognition of concussion WITH NO HIA NEEDED and NO RETURN TO PLAY THAT GAME.

Jesse Ramien hits Matt Dufty with a swinging arm in the round one clash between the Dragons and Sharks.

“This is the same as the incident with Boyd Cordner in State of Origin III last year all over again, who despite ‘passing’ all the HIAs is now sitting out 12 weeks or more ‘because of concussion’ ……..even though all those events were 3-6 months ago!!!

“As for Jake Friend, after three concussions last year, and now one in the first game of the season, how long will the Roosters great take to call it a day?”

Cronulla’s Jesse Ramien has been charged by the match review committee over the tackle that left Dufty concussed.

Ramien has been hit with a grade 1 reckless high tackle charge, and will miss three weeks if he pleads guilty, or four weeks if he fights the charge and loses.

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