Brisbane Broncos' Andrew McCullough expected to take on NZ Warriors after head knock
Hooker Andrew McCullough is set to make a remarkable recovery from a sickening head knock and play Brisbane's next NRL round 12 clash against the Warriors.
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd admitted he feared the worst when McCullough was knocked out cold in the second half of their 36-0 rout of Wests Tigers on Friday night.
"It was scary. We just hoped he would be okay," Boyd said.
McCullough lay motionless with his head split open when he came off second best trying to tackle Kyle Lovett in the 58th minute.
He was treated for several minutes on the field before being taken off on a medi-cab.
But coach Wayne Bennett played down concerns for McCullough and even expected him to run out next week against the Warriors in Auckland.
"He's okay. He's all good. He's going to get some scans done but he is conscious and talking to everybody," Bennett said.
"It was just a mis-tackle. He got his head in the wrong place.
"He's such wonderful tackler. It's unbelievable he got himself caught there.
"But I don't see those (head knocks) too often having great consequence other than a headache."
Brisbane still cruised to their sixth straight win to ensure they are sitting pretty in the top four before the difficult State of Origin period starts next week without their representative stars.
Bennett expects to lose up to six players to Origin duty.
"I am really proud of what they achieved actually," he said.
"We got the toughest draw of any team in the competition to start the season with."
Bennett even forgave Brisbane for taking the foot off the pedal against the Tigers after grabbing the 36-0 lead in the 55th minute.
"They fell away a bit in the end but they've been playing tough footy for 10 weeks," he said.
"I wasn't interested in winning by a big margin, just keeping that try-line intact and picking up some points on the way through."
Bennett even had the luxury of resting fullback Boyd for the final 15 minutes on Friday night.
"There was an opportunity to get him off. We had nothing to prove, I was pleased we were able to do that," he said.
Fill-in halfback Kodi Nikorima earned man of the match honours but Bennett confirmed Ben Hunt would wear the No.7 against the Warriors when he returned from a hamstring injury.
"What is remarkable is that they have done so well without Ben Hunt who is a key player in the team," he said.
"Kodi has been wonderful but it (Brisbane's form without Hunt) is a tribute to the club."