Didn’t take long for a little controversy.
State of Origin got off to a dramatic start when Blues backrower Isaah Yeo was sent sprawling after a brutal hit on the first play of Game 1.
Maroons prop Josh Papalii carried the ball up from the kick-off, flattening the Panthers star who was sprawled out on his back.
Yeo got to his feet but staggered back to his defensive line, making two more tackles in the set.
“Oh no, Isaah Yeo has stumbled,” Andrew Johns said on Channel 9.
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“He is the key man for NSW, he’ll be off for a head assessment.”
“Huge drama in the first carry of Origin,” Matt Thompson said on Channel 9.
The NRL’s new independent doctor was called upon for the very first time in an Origin series making a controversial call minutes after the opening tackle.
“Isaah Yeo obviously went down in that first tackle of the match, there’s been almost five minutes gone, he stayed on the field but he has been checked by the trainer and he has been cleared,” Paul Gallen said on Channel 9.
“The doctors have also assessed the footage and everything seems to be OK at this stage.”
The decision baffled NRL pundits, who voiced their confusion as to why Yeo wasn’t taken from the field.
“If the independent doctor doesn’t see Isaah Yeo, I don’t know what they’re doing,” Ryan Girdler said on Triple M.
Yeo’s clearance was met with confusion from the rugby league world given the NRL’s hardline stance in relation to head knocks.