Taupau reflects on ‘scary’ concussion
Manly prop Martin Taupau battled memory loss and suffered headaches for days after being knocked out for the first time in his career against the New Zealand Warriors a fortnight ago.
Taupau has revealed the details of his “scary” concussion after the right arm of Warriors forward Jack Hetherington hit him across the face.
The Sea Eagles enforcer couldn’t remember anything for 30 minutes after the hit, while he also had short-term memory lapses.
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After a one-week lay-off, Taupau returns against South Sydney on Saturday night, but he is still scarred from the severity and impact of the concussion.
“How do I reflect on it? To be honest, I don’t really want to because it scares me with the brain being the most important organ in the body,” Taupau said.
“Without that you just can’t function.
“It is the first time I’ve ever been knocked out cold.
“I don’t remember at least 20 to 30 minutes post the hit, and after that it pretty much went downhill.
“I think it was post-traumatic amnesia. I had constant headaches from the night that I copped the knock up until the Monday.
“There were a few short-term memory things that I was forgetting as well – so it was really scary.
“It wasn’t ideal, but I’m back on my feet and back at work.”
Manly’s Marty Taupau says being knocked out was “scary” Picture: /Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Taupau was so rattled after his concussion that he took it upon himself to have a CT scan to confirm that there was no bleeding on the brain.
“I was pretty worried about the knock,” he said.
“I consulted with our doctor and physio, while I got a CT scan just to make sure.
“The results came through positive and I’ve done further tests as well, which all came back positive as well.
“I’m happy and confident that I’ll be back to my best this week, but I’ll have to be mindful for the next couple of weeks.”
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Concussion has emerged as a big issue in rugby league in recent years.
Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner will miss six weeks following a series of concussions, while Luke Keary sat out a similar period last season after several hits.
Taupau supports the Roosters’ sensible stance on Cordner.
“Qudos to the Roosters for sitting him out,” he said.
“It is probably the best for his wellbeing and the longevity of his career to have a rest and look after himself.
“Your body can’t constantly take those hits.
“In my opinion it is better for Boyd to sit out and recover.
“It is a very scary world, but we all have faith in the medical staff surrounding us.”
Taupau returns to tackle Souths in a must-win game for the Sea Eagles. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Taupau declared he held no ill feelings towards Hetherington for the hit, which resulted in a four-week ban for the Warriors forward.
“No, it is just the nature of the sport,” he said.
“It was careless, but it has happened to the best of us, and unfortunately, I was on the end of that big knock.
“I’ll just take it on the chin, literally, and just move on.”
Still, Taupau believes his brutal concussion has given him valuable perspective about the serious side of playing rugby league.
“It certainly makes me appreciate what I do in life, especially because league is only a small percentage of your life,” he said.
“You have a whole lifetime after footy, and you should put your health first.
“Even the knocks we get throughout training are still brutal.
“It’s like being in a car crash, so I’m very mindful of the brutality of playing a contact sport.
“It is what you do after and the preparation to look after your body and the brain.”
Sea Eagles back-rower Corey Waddell can’t wait to welcome Taupau back for Saturday’s must-win clash against South Sydney.
“Missing last week hurt Marty, so he is looking forward to getting back,” Waddell said.
“Having a bloke like him jump back into the middle is big for us.
“I’m sure Marty will be looking at their starting forwards and he will be wanting to have it over them.”
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