Canterbury playmaker Josh Reynolds has told NRL fans to pull their heads in after copping a torrent of abuse from the ANZ Stadium crowd after Robbie Farah’s hospitalisation on Sunday.
As Farah was taken from the field on a stretcher, Tigers fans rained down obscenities and vitriol on the former NSW five-eighth despite the incident being an accident.
When Reynolds kicked, jumping in the air, Farah ran through and knocked himself out after his head collided with the five-eighth’s hip during Canterbury’s 36-4 win.
With his eyes down the field trying to look where the ball had landed, Reynolds tripped over Farah, who was immediately knocked out cold.
Some fans assumed he was trying to knee his former NSW Origin teammate in the head as he lay prone on the ground.
This is despite his legs not making contact with his good mate, leaving Reynolds dismayed by the response of the fans.
While six years in top grade has given Reynolds a granite chin when it comes to sledging, he was worried about his mother and family who were sitting in the crowd.
“Sometimes enough’s enough. I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want a sob story but common sense does prevail sometimes,” Reynolds said.
“(The fans) get away with everything and we’re in the spotlight day in and day out.
“I’m sure if we were writing stories on them it’d be a pretty bad one.
“Why do that? Why make me feel like I did something when I didn’t.”
Farah was taken to hospital as a precaution and on Sunday night was discharged after receiving a positive prognosis from his first set of scans.
“Thankfully scans on my neck have come back all clear and I’ve been discharged from hospital. Greatly appreciate everyone’s msgs. Thank you,” Farah tweeted.
Reynolds, known affectionately as “Grub” to his teammates, has at times been guilty of losing his cool in the heat of battle, earning him a reputation as a dirty player, but has declared himself a changed man.
The 27-year-old admits he was unsettled by the incident however did not let it get to his head, coming up with several big plays, including a tackle on Chris Lawrence which dislodged the ball and led to Tyrone Phillip’s try.
He said the younger version of him probably would have let it get to him but thanks to meditation and mindfulness, he had learnt to block out negative thoughts.
“When I see someone like that, it’s very hard to concentrate on what’s going on,” Reynolds said.
“But 12 months ago I probably would have been rattled the whole game to tell you the truth. But I’ve worked on things like that.”