Titans want 18th man after Elgey hit

Gold Coast coach Neil Henry wants the NRL to allow an 18th man to be used when a team loses a player to injury following foul play.

The Titans were fuming after young halfback Kane Elgey was concussed by a late shot from Brisbane prop Adam Blair during the Broncos’ 34-0 win at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

While Blair was placed on report, Titans skipper Greg Bird told the referees he believed the Bronco should have been sent off as the visitors were effectively down a player due to the hit.

Henry says teams bring an 18th man to games, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to put them into the game when the need arises.

“You lose a player to foul play, I think common sense, if you’re talking about player welfare, we’ve talked about it before, I don’t know why we just don’t bring it in,” he said.

“You pay for an 18th man and it just caters for that situation. Foul play, you lose a player, they don’t lose anyone and you don’t have a replacement.

“You could have a utility sitting there that could cover that role and you run him on.”

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett didn’t see eye to eye with his Titans counterpart however.

He says losing a player to injury has always been a risk you run in the game and he wasn’t too convinced Blair’s hit was that illegal anyway.

“I’m not too worried about it … it was fine-line stuff,” Bennett said.

“Guys don’t do that deliberately. You get rubbed out of the game, Bird’s just coming back from an eight-week suspension himself.

“There’re no thugs in the game anymore, in my opinion. You’ve got some hard men and that’s the nature of the game, but I don’t see any reason to think that guys have been taken out deliberately.”

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