Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights pay respect to Boyd Cordner’s late cousin

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The Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights have remembered Boyd Cordner’s cousin Joel Dark, who died on Friday from injuries he suffered in a rugby league match.

Dark, 19, collapsed on the field after suffering a head knock in a heavy tackle while playing for his club Central Newcastle last Sunday.

An emotional Cordner joined players from both sides in observing a moment’s silence in honour of Dark at the SCG prior to Saturday night’s NRL match, which the Roosters won 42-12.

Both teams also paid their respect by wearing black armbands.

There had been concern for Cordner when he was unable to finish the match after sustaining a head knock, his third this season.

He was taken from the field for a head injury assessment 24 minutes into the match, however Roosters coach Trent Robinson said the decision to keep him off the field — made by club doctor Tom Longworth — was a precautionary measure.

“The [head injury] assessment was really good, [Cordner] was quite clear,” Robinson said after the match.

“But the time off he had, plus also the week that he’s had, that was a really smart call [from Dr Longworth] just to say take a breath and don’t go back on.

A young shirtless man wearing sunglasses.
Joel Dark died after suffering a head knock during a rugby league match.(Supplied: Facebook)

Cordner has missed six matches with recurring symptoms after copping a concussion against Melbourne in round eight and again at training three weeks later.

In his third match back from the extended rest, Cordner was chasing a kick through the in-goal when his head hit the SCG turf as he was trying to ground the ball.

The Roosters co-captain stayed down for several seconds before he left the field.

“His head’s fine, it was a big shock taking the wind out of him and trying to score the try at the same time,” Robinson said.

“He’s good. I’m not concerned about him health wise. I’m more concerned about him with Joel’s passing.”

Roosters dominate Knights

A Sydney Roosters NRL player holds the ball in his right hand as he is tackled over his right shoulder by a Newcastle opponent.
Sonny Bill Williams (left) made his second appearance for the Roosters since his return.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

The Roosters moved ahead of Parramatta into third place on the ladder courtesy of the seven-tries-to-two victory.

They shredded the Knights’ right-side defence to lead 18-0 early in the match following converted tries to Josh Morris, Daniel Tupou and Luke Keary.

And when Joseph Manu cruised through soft defence shortly after, the home side had mounted an unassailable 24-0 lead after just 22 minutes.

Tupou eventually landed a double, including his 100th try for the Roosters, while Sonny Bill Williams was busy in the middle in a marked improvement from his first match.

In his 150th NRL appearance, Keary created two tries and ended up with a double of his own, while James Tedesco also got on the board.

Kyle Flanagan kicked seven from seven conversions.

After being dominated throughout the match, the Knights — who have now slipped to seventh on the ladder — finished with just 43 per cent of possession, and a try each to Enari Tuala and Gehamat Shibasaki.

Mitch Aubusson is now on track to become the Roosters’ most capped player against Cronulla next week after equalling club legend Anthony Minichiello on 302 matches.

ABC/AAP

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