Why did Isaah Yeo stay on the field during State of Origin opener?

There was plenty of confusion in the opening minutes of Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener, and one NSW official believes there was a mistake made. 

After being bundled over by Maroons prop Josh Papalii and clearly stumbling back to the defensive line, NSW lock Isaah Yeo was cleared to stay on the field and ended up playing 53 minutes in the 16-10 defeat. 

Commentators were quick to point out Yeo’s seemingly dazed state, with many on social media also confused by how he was able to stay on the field.

But according to Blues doctor Nathan Gibbs, the 27-year-old was able to stay on after only displaying ‘category three’ concussion symptoms and passing his on-field HIA.

“We were asked to come and talk to the bunker doctor and view the incident,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“He showed us the point of contact and the bunker doctor, who knows what he is doing, has all the camera angles and said it was a category 3, go and check that he is okay with an on-field assessment, which we got our trainer to do.”

Category three is the lowest on the scale of potential head injuries. If players are deemed to display category one symptoms, they are automatically ruled out of the game. If players are deemed to display category two symptoms, they must leave the field for a HIA.

Twitter icon NRL Physio explains the different HIA categories in a post below.

Yeo finished the game with 18 runs for 146 metres, as well as 30 tackles, but wasn’t at his influential best as he had been for Penrith all year. 

According to NSW advisor Greg Alexander on SEN Breakfast With Vossy And Brandy, the lock-forward should have left the field. 

“Despite staying on the field, he was obviously affected and probably should not have stayed on as long as he did,” he said. 

“I don’t know why it wasn’t called immediately from the independent doctor.

“When our doctor went down and spoke to the independent doctor it was called a category three which means all he needed to do was pass the HIA and he did.

“Word up into the box was he passed his HIA…the Isaah Yeo situation was a very confusing one.”

NRL are likely to investigate the incident further in the coming days. 

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