An­other Aus­tralian player dies a er tackle leads to col­lapse

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

AN Aus­tralian rugby league player has died af­ter col­laps­ing fol­low­ing a tackle, po­lice and of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day, just over a year af­ter an­other player died in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

Fa­ther of two Grant Cook was play­ing for the Murwillumbah Mus­tangs in a re­gional New South Wales game against Casino Cougars on Septem­ber 11 when he was taken ill.

As sports around the world grap­ple with the grow­ing prob­lem of head in­juries, New South Wales po­lice said a re­port on the death of the 28-year-old would be pre­pared for the coro­ner.

“Po­lice have been in­formed that the man col­lapsed shortly af­ter be­ing tack­led dur­ing the match,” a state­ment said, with­out de­tail­ing his in­juries.

At­tempts were made at the scene to re­vive the un­con­scious Cook be­fore he was air­lifted to Gold Coast Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion and passed away overnight.

Brian Rix, pres­i­dent of the North­ern Rivers Re­gional Rugby League, said Cook had left the field just be­fore half-time.

At first there was “no in­di­ca­tion it was any­thing ma­jor”, he told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, but said Cook then had “some sort of fit or con­vul­sion” and needed CPR.

“When the half-time break came, we knew then it was quite se­ri­ous. He must’ve copped a knock or some­thing, we have no idea.”

“They had to do CPR on him. He did stop breath­ing for a while and they re­vived him, then the am­bu­lance turned up.”

On her Face­book page, Cook’s wife Colleen said she had been left with “a huge hole in my heart”.

“You died do­ing some­thing you loved so pas­sion­ately, and I guess that’s how I have to look at it,” she wrote, The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald re­ported.

“You fi­nally got to wear that num­ber 6 jer­sey be­fore the sea­son was out too. I al­ways did say I would love you for­ever and a day. And you know I will.”

League au­thor­i­ties said play­ers from both teams would be of­fered coun­selling af­ter the sud­den death, which comes af­ter a Queens­land player died from a head in­jury sus­tained in a match in Bris­bane.

In June 2015, Sun­shine Coast Fal­cons front-row for­ward James Ack­er­man, a 25-year-old fa­ther of two, suf­fered a head in­jury in a tackle dur­ing a Queens­land Cup match against the Norths Devils and later died in hos­pi­tal.

The pre­vi­ous month two other play­ers, aged 15 and 29, had died af­ter play­ing rugby league in re­gional New South Wales.

Aus­tralian rugby league of­fi­cials have tried to take a firm line with head in­juries in re­cent years, in­sist­ing play­ers be side­lined if con­cussed.

On Septem­ber 11, the United States’ Na­tional Foot­ball League said it was look­ing into the re­sponse by med­i­cal per­son­nel to mul­ti­ple blows to the head suf­fered by Carolina Pan­thers quar­ter­back Cam New­ton in a sea­sonopen­ing loss at Den­ver. –

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