There are new concerns for shark veteran Dale Finuken after Cronular dropped 30-10 forwards to the Raiders with his fourth head knock in almost two seasons.
In the second half, after Cronula’s attempt, Finuken was taking a turn from the kick-off to the opening hit-up, when Elliott Whitehead was flattened by a shot from the shoulder.
The game was stopped immediately, with referee Liam Kennedy issuing a marching order with Whitehead on the report.
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“He absolutely rocked!” The Broncos great Corey Parker said in a commentary on the Fox League.
“You can’t imagine we’ll see Dale Finuken back. He’s running a bit with the HIAs in the area.”
The incident could result in a fine or suspension, which could lead Whitehead to answer to the Match Review Committee.
“I don’t think I could have done too much in this situation, it was communication too late. I thought it was a bit hard to get the sin bin,” Whitehead said after the game.
Finuken recently returned to the Sharks’ lineup after recovering from an injury he suffered in April during the defeat against his former team, Melbourne.
The 30-year-old missed several games last season due to injury.
An HIA failed during a stormy victory over Finuken Newcastle in Round 11 last year and suffered another head knock against Riders in Round 22 a few months later.
“It’s disappointing to lose someone like Dale,” Sharks captain Wade Graham said after the match.
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“He’s a player who gives other players confidence because you know how tough he is in the middle. He will always come back and do his job.”
Meanwhile, the Raiders have defeated a monster after defeating the Sharks.
Despite coming out on top with just one win from the last six rounds, the Raiders looked completely different when they came out of the gate to take a 20-0 lead at the break.
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The result is even more impressive as the riders were forced to play one on three separate occasions due to a number of sin-requiring offenses.
At one point in the second half, while trying to fight the sharks, Canberra was reduced to 11 men.
Charlene Nicole-Clokstad (34th minute) and Corey Horsberg (48) both dealt a 10-minute stunt for a professional foul, with Whitehead’s high shot in the 56th minute lowering him into the hot water.
“We will remember this for a long time,” said Riders prop Josh Papali after the win.
“A lot of the time we had 11 or 12 people there, the boys dug really deep.”
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