Canberra Raiders' NRL win over South Sydney Rabbitohs has been overshadowed by a troubling medical incident, involving Kiwi forward Corey Harawira-Naera.
After taking a hit-up during the second half, Harawira-Naera was returning to position for a goal-line dropout, when he began to look disoriented, then suddenly collapsed and started convulsing, while experiencing a seizure.
The match at Accor Stadium stopped for more than 10 minutes, as players and staff from both sides looked on in concern. Harawira-Naera's teammates formed a circle around him to give him privacy, while the medical team worked.
He was conscious and responsive by the time he was transferred into the medicab and then transported to Westmead Hospital with his sister, who was watching the game from the stands.
Harawira-Naera has posted an update via Raiders social media, confirming he was discharged from hospital at 3:30am Sunday and is currently in a stable condition.
"I've been pretty fortunate to receive a lot of messages about what happened last night and I'm doing a lot better now," he said. "I'm not in the clear yet, but we'll get some more scans and sort it out.
"Health comes first, but I'm obviously hoping to get back on the field as soon as possible as well. I'm very fortunate to have a lot of people concerned about me and thinking of me."
When play resumed, the Raiders regrouped and resolved to claim victory in Harawira-Naera's honour, duly closing out a 33-26 win.
"We got in a huddle after that and said, 'We'll do it for Corey', and we did," said Raiders wing Albert Hopoate, who scored a hat-trick of tries.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has paid tribute to the character of both teams for their concern for Harawira-Naera.
"That's when you see the real character of these footballers," Stuart said. "When one of the boys go down, it doesn't matter what team he's on, everyone got around the fact that it was a serious situation.
"There was a lot of care out there for him. That's appreciated by all our players and club, how the Souths boys handled it as well.
"No-one likes to see those serious types of scenes."2023-05-27T19:32:31Z dg43tfdfdgfd