‘ I couldn’t re­ally see. I couldn’t open my eyes’

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORTS -

CAN­BERRA cen­tre Joey Leilua says he felt like a rock had landed in his eye and he com­pletely lost vi­sion just sec­onds be­fore kick-off last night.

The start of the match was thrown into chaos when an ob­ject from the pre-game fire­works lodged in Leilua’s eye.

The start was de­layed as con­fu­sion cen­tred on Can­berra’s bench. Leilua was taken

from the field and re­placed by Bai­ley Si­mon­s­son but he was later cleared to re­turn.

“I thought it was part of Mel­bourne’s game plan,” Leilua joked.

“The doctor didn’t be­lieve me that there was some­thing in there. Even­tu­ally my eye lid was so far up he found it. He bet­ter have the ev­i­dence, still.

“I was dis­ap­pointed I might let the boys down again.

“Even go­ing out there I was still para­noid. I couldn’t re­ally see. I couldn’t open my eyes.

“The doctor got it out. It was a mir­a­cle. The boys were say­ing Je­sus is back.”

Si­mon­s­son scored just af­ter four min­utes. The winger said he ben­e­fited from get­ting on the field straight away.

“It made it eas­ier get­ting straight in the game and killing the nerves,” Si­mon­s­son said.

“I was for­tu­nate enough to cross the stripe. It was a good start. It’s un­real it’s been a spe­cial year.”

An NRL spokesman said “we’re re­view­ing all cir­cum­stances around the in­ci­dent”.

Leilua re­bounded to lay on the fi­nal pass for the match­win­ning try af­ter com­ing on to the field af­ter 29 min­utes.

Can­berra coach Ricky Stu­art said it would have been “cat­a­strophic” if he hadn’t had Si­mon­s­son on the bench.

Joey Leilua leaves the field in­jured af­ter run­ning through fire­works be­fore the start.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.