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Wednesday Jul 10, 2013

George Smith knocked out by Richard Hibbard on Wallaby return

George Smith knocked out by Richard Hibbard on Wallaby return
24
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Wallaby legend George Smith has played his final game for his country, but it didn’t go entirely to plan as he was knocked out just minutes into the deciding Test against the Lions. He somehow returned to the field, but was less effective than planned.

Smith, who turns 33 this coming Sunday, made his return to Wallaby colours after a four year absence, last having played Test rugby in 2009 against Wales. It was anything but a fairytale return however, with the Lions thumping the Wallabies 41-16 to take the series.

With the Wallabies missing the services of key man David Pocock, Smith was a surprise selection, replacing up and coming flanker Michael Hooper.

As with the first Test against the Lions, a knockout blow early on affected Robbie Deans’ plans. This time it was Smith who went off after an awful head clash with Hooker Richard Hibbard.

“It obviously affected me. You saw me snake dancing off the field. I passed the (concussion) tests that were required within those five minutes and I got out there.

“But the impact that I envisioned before the game, coming out to do it, didn’t eventuate. That’s my role to disrupt play within that breakdown area. I don’t think I did that well enough,” he said.

Having played rugby in France and Japan, Smith has been with the Brumbies more recently, but his selection drew raised eyebrows. If he hadn’t been knocked out, you can be sure he’d have played a bigger role, but he says it was one of the most disappointing games he’s been a part of.

“I’ve been disappointed with losses, there’s no doubt about that. But because it was such a big game and a big score as well, I’m disappointed.

“I’ve had a great career. I’m very fortunate to have been considered for this series as well. I think it’s time for the young guys and the guys who have been working hard within Australian rugby to have a chance,” added Smith, who will now focus on Super Rugby with the Brumbies.

Coach Robbie Deans, who was sacked earlier this week, heaped praise on Smith for a great career.

“Obviously it’s not the way he would have liked to have finished, but it was tremendous that he could get a send-off in Australia. He’s a great player. He deserves the respect that he’s got.”

Below is a quick look at the knockout blow, and Smith’s courageous return to the field.

24 Comments

  •  browner
    browner
    11:09 AM 07/09/2013

    Merthens......!? UMAGA..... !!!!!!! Classy rugby players don't intentionally injure opponents (BoD)

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt
    4:37 PM 16/07/2013

    Great performance from the pair of them, but IMO at least half of those turnovers were quite illegal, I think they got away with a lot that day

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt
    4:32 PM 16/07/2013

    When he left the pitch it looked like he'd been drinking from Beale's water bottle. I can't understand how that wasn't a concussion

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy
    7:31 PM 11/07/2013

    Very sad story indeed. And exactly why we all should be worried about player welfare, at every level the game is being played.

    Reply
  •  4lc4tr4z
    4lc4tr4z
    5:12 PM 11/07/2013

    I've seen a lot of rugby stars in Toulon, Monsieur George Smith is clearly one of the greatest player ever, and outside the field one of the classiest rugbymen of his generation. An equal to Merthens, Gregan or Umaga to me.

    Reply
  •  mastersa
    mastersa
    4:38 PM 11/07/2013

    Big Smith fan and its a shame this stuffed his last international game, but he should not have been let back onto the park for his own safety. Its already medically proven that multiple concussions can have long term effects on players. If boxing has taught us nothing else, its that. With the big hits and increasing game time the players must endure, I really worry about the long term issues our heroes will suffer when older. For me, the concussion rule is wrong and the IRB should be looking after players welfare much better than this. Seeing Hibbard on sidelines--cringe. Its only a matter of time before something very public and bad happens. I'd rather not see this happen before rule changes are made.

    Reply
  • 2:38 PM 11/07/2013

    Wow that's disturbing. I've noticed hibbard really throws himself around and am not surprised. I believe what happened in the scrum was that he got his carotid artery pinched, cut off the flow of blood to the brain temporarily and lost consciousness. Not good. Smith returning to the field was reprehensible and looked bad on rugby.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner
    1:11 PM 11/07/2013

    What are these "Tests" ............. the Sports Governors are sending the wrong message ............ heed this http://www.canada.com/sports/School+board+launches+review+after+rugby+player+dies+after+head+injury/8376953/story.html

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner
    1:04 PM 11/07/2013

    Wow - i'd missed that, clear co-ordination failure issues.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner
    1:03 PM 11/07/2013

    Yes, Perhaps Dr Robson was showing him how to clear the tackle area quickly, just in case Horwill's boots come 'unbalancing' towards him again !!!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:36 AM 11/07/2013

    Like everyone else, I was shocked to see him come back on. The clash was just nasty. I like to see a bruising encounter, but that semi turned my stomach. It was horrible to see him leave the field, he looked like a lost old man. I can't see how this didn't result in a concussion? Is it possible? Getting knocked out is brain trauma, so surely that has to amount to something in the longer term?? As I understand it, it is a team of independent docs that do the once over of a player, so there is no bias, it's all very odd though.. That clip of Hibbard someone posted up was pretty nasty too, looks like he can't even clap his hands properly. All in all, a bad day at the office for Hibbard and Smith. As others said, great awareness from referee and other players!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:28 AM 11/07/2013

    Whilst I agree, and in this case Smith is pretty much retired, I think some players may worry that it could affect their ratings. A spot gets taken up by you and you don't fill it for more than 10 minutes, so they might worry the coach wouldn't pick them next time/might not be thinking too clearly etc. Not to mention many players, flankers especially, are the ones that will put everything on the line, try and make the tackle even near death etc, so it's probably not in his mentality to "give up". We all would understand he wasn't giving up, but at the time he might feel like that...

    Reply
  • 9:54 AM 11/07/2013

    When you read the statement of Smith, i think he should be wise & proffesional enough to say 'hey, i'm not 100%, get a sub in!'.... At this level you need to be at a 100% level to be able to compete. Also they should keep in mind the long term effects of concussions. In the NFL you see al lot of problems surfacing about this problem.....

    Reply
  •  hendogo
    hendogo
    10:47 PM 10/07/2013

    He shouldn't been allowed to return to the field. Having a real big problem in Pro American Football with head knocks of late. One ex player committed suicide link to all the concussions he had. Player safety should be above the game.

    Reply
  •  bnations
    bnations
    6:16 PM 10/07/2013

    lost his *bind* early in the scrum

    Reply
  •  bnations
    bnations
    6:16 PM 10/07/2013

    I noticed that during the game but couldn't see what happened. Even later with the rewind button, the only thing that was apparent was the he lost his early in the scrum. It was a strange sight to see him topple over as the scrum ended.

    Reply
  •  bnations
    bnations
    6:14 PM 10/07/2013

    I think that the questions went something along the line of ... Doc: Now, what's your name, son? Player: Uh, Geoff? Doc: Starts with a 'G', close 'enuf Doc: What year is it? Player: 2001, of course. The Lions are here. Doc: Close 'enuf. Back you go!

    Reply
  •  ollie
    ollie
    5:11 PM 10/07/2013

    Agreed - class reaction. He also didn't move from under Smith until sure that it was safe to do so (when smacked away by Robson). Good man and what a great day as captain.

    Reply
  • 4:38 PM 10/07/2013

    Concussion Test for massive games are as follows, named the Rocky Balboa concussion test. "How many fingers am I holding up" (*holding up one*). Smith: "3?" Right, hit the one in the middle.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes
    4:14 PM 10/07/2013

    unfortunate incident for Smith, it surely handicaped him for the rest of the match, but i really wonder if he should have continue. What are the concussion test questions? on a side note, quick and right reaction of romain poite

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy
    4:11 PM 10/07/2013

    Maybe in this case it's a SANZAR trial. http://www.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/story/168351.html

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy
    3:41 PM 10/07/2013

    So much to say about this video: - how hard is Hibbards head... - Smith must be one of the thoughest blokes out there... - but most of all: how the hell did he pass the concussion test???????? I think players should be protected against themselves even better than they are now.

    Reply
  •  macmurchu
    macmurchu
    3:11 PM 10/07/2013

    This is why I love rugby and hate soccer

    Reply
  •  murina
    murina
    2:33 PM 10/07/2013

    Legend though he is, this wasn't a great move. Deans had to show confidence in his youth, or at least his current stable of back rowers, and to go and grab someone (however good) from the past will only undermine feelings of confidence. Hooper may be over-hyped, but I would have started him and made a show of faith. An unnecessary and inglorious postscript to an amazing career.

    Reply


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