Viliame Kikau ruled out for two weeks in brutal NRL blow for Bulldogs
The second-rower will miss Canterbury's next two matches after a mishap at training.
Viliame Kikau will miss the next two games for the Canterbury Bulldogs after suffering a concussion in a training mishap. Bulldogs football manager Phil Gould revealed on social media on Saturday that Kikau suffered a head knock at training on Friday, which had been deemed a category one.
Under the NRL's new concussion policy, Kikau will now be stood down for the next 11 days. It means the back-rower will miss Sunday's clash with the Cowboys and the round six encounter with South Sydney on Good Friday.
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"Viliame Kikau sustained a head knock yesterday during training. He took no further part in the session," Gould tweeted.
"Vision of the incident was sent to the doctor. It was deemed a category 1. He will miss Cowboys match tomorrow and the Rabbitohs match next Friday due to 11 day mandatory sat down rule.
"Immediately after the incident he was fine. Full memory of what happened. No on-going symptoms."
It comes as a massive blow for the Bulldogs, who have won just three of their last 12 games against North Queensland stretching back to 2013. The club has made a promising start to the 2023 season under new coach Cameron Ciraldo, beating the Storm and Tigers while losing to the Sea Eagles and Warriors.
Fans were left saddened over the development for the Bulldogs' high-profile recruit. Kikau joined the club from the Panthers in the off-season and has provided some much-needed attacking firepower and experience to their forward pack.
Big loss unfortunately 😫
— Mozenboy (@mozen) April 1, 2023
Speedy recovery to Kiks. Hopefully he’ll return along with TPJ and our forward stocks improve.
— Ahmad Hammoud (@ahmadhammoud313) April 1, 2023
Take care Kiks, good to be cautious
— Jo Cornick 🐾 (@Mojo_cornick) March 31, 2023
Kikau big loss
— Shotzz (@impulsegrenades) April 1, 2023
Big blow, but 👍 to the @NRL_Bulldogs for following protocols.
— journalistagendas (@journalistagen1) April 1, 2023
Very ethical decision dogs. Would not say all clubs would do the same thing
— Nucky Thompson (@nuckythompson8) April 1, 2023
Todd Payten hands debut to son of a gun Riley Price
The Cowboys will blood the son of Bulldogs champion Steve Price in Sunday's game, with Cowboys coach Todd Payten handed 21-year-old Riley Price his NRL debut off the bench. It will come against the club his father Steve played 222 games for, and won a premiership with in 1995.
"He's been the (Queensland Cup side) Blackhawks' most consistent player now for a good couple of years," Payten said on Saturday. "He's knocked on the door for a little bit, he's been our 18th man, 19th man, and it's a great story about perseverance and consistency.
"He's got a long history in the game with his family. He understands the game and he will get an opportunity to press his ways in in the NRL, which is a lifelong dream for him."
Price's family are expected to turn out in big numbers at Accor Stadium on Sunday, with the rookie requesting a huge portion of tickets. Payten could only laugh at that fact and revealed the most tickets he ever received as a player was four in the 2005 grand final.
"We had to buy the rest and I tapped out at about 30," he said. Payten's side will also be bolstered by the return of centre Peta Hiku, who will look to tighten up their right defensive edge.
After making the preliminary final in 2022, the Cowboys have been disappointing in the early stages of the 2023 season. Before the Bulldogs clash they sat 13th on the ladder with a 2-2 record - the same as the 10th-placed Dogs. Payten's men have scored narrow victories over the Raiders and Titans, but suffered losses to the Broncos and Warriors.
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