By STEVE MASCORD
SOUTH Sydney coach Michael Maguire has hit out at officials for not stopping play when winger Dylan Farrell was knocked out during the loss to Melbourne.
Maguire, whose side regained some form despite being beaten 26-8 at AAMI Park, said officials had a “duty of care” to Farrell, who was carried off on a stretcher and in a neck brace in the 66th minute.
Play was eventually halted for Farrell, who was accidently kneed in the head by Andrew Everingham while both were in the air pursuing a kick, but only after it continued upfield for several minutes,
Maguire said Farrell was illegally pushed by a Melbourne defender into Everingham.
“When Dylan Farrell got taken out of play, knocked out, in goal … the game continued,’ said Maguire, who said Greg Inglis (knee) and John Sutton (ankle) could both be back for next Friday’s encounter with Manly.
“Usually you will get a penalty there. Instead, they play on and we end up at the other end of the field. I’ll have to have a chat about that.
“He (Farrell) was in a bad way to start with but he’s pulled up OK in the changeroom. The biggest concern there is the duty of care of one of our players.
“You’ve got to look after your players. He was knocked sideways and hit his head on one our players.”
Maguire – who contended his side lacked “polish” – had no complaints over a contentious try to Melbourne winger Sisa Waqa in the 53rd minute. There were doubts Waqa got to the line.
Storm skipper Cameron Smith had no doubt South Sydney would figure prominently in the finals.
“They’re a great footy side,” said hooker Smith. “I think they’ve been the most consistent footy team all year.
“Obviously over the past couple of weeks results haven’t gone their way but they’ve got a couple of injuries at the moment, in particular Greg inglis.
“You take him out of any footy team and he’s going to be a blow to your team. It looks like he’s going to be back next week. Talking to a couple of Souths players out there, he was pretty close tonight.
“All the players around him will be more confident when Greg Inglis is on the field, too. I think they’ll be in the finals and we’ll see plenty of them.”
Maguire said of Inglis and Sutton’s chances of playing at Brookvale Oval: “Both are a chance. We’re going to be doing everything we can to make the right decision.”
Bellamy also amended his comment from Thursday about not picking any of his World Cup players for the 2014 Auckland Nines. “I meant our Australian World Cup players – the big three,” he said.
Filed for: THE AGE