Sharks take cautious approach with Graham

Saturday 12 June, 2021
Pamela Whaley
Cronulla's Wade Graham. Cronulla's Wade Graham.
Cronulla's Wade Graham leaves the field against Penrith, after his fourth head knock of the season.

Cronulla coach Josh Hannay said the club will do the right thing by Wade Graham after the Sharks skipper suffered yet another concussion in the NRL clash with Penrith.

Questions have been raised about the immediate playing future of the 30-year-old after he copped his fourth head knock of the season on Friday while attempting to make a low tackle on Penrith's Rob Jennings.

Hannay said the club would look at an extended rest for Graham, who missed a fortnight earlier this season after two concussions in 15 days.

He failed to finish a third game, in round eight, once he returned, with Friday night's knock causing him to stumble and appear groggy on his feet.

Although Graham is understood to have passed the head injury assessment once he was taken from the field, he showed category-one symptoms of a concussion on the field and was immediately ruled out of the game.

Hannay said Graham appeared fine in the sheds following the 19-18 win against the Panthers but his tackling technique is something to be addressed.

"It's been a similar incident each time, trying to make a low tackle and getting his head in the wrong position," Hannay said.

"It's definitely something we need to work on with Wade and he's conscious of.

"He is working on it, and we'll just continue to try and make sure that, under pressure out there on the field, his technique holds up."

Concerns for Graham come at a time of heightened sensitivity around concussion issues, with Sydney Roosters star Jake Friend retiring after a series of head knocks earlier this year.

Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner is also sitting out the first half of the season and is yet to return as he works his way back from repeated head injuries.

Hannay said the Sharks would look at a cautious approach for Graham as well.

"Wade's good down there," he said following the game.

"Obviously he suffered a head knock earlier in the year.

"With that in the back of our minds, our medical staff, who are fantastic and do a fantastic job, just were extra cautious with Wade.

"He's actually feeling really good. We'll continue to take every precaution and do what's necessary to get Wade right, to get him back out there."