Blockbusting Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell will be working on changing an ingrained habit as he serves a three-match NRL ban.
His suspension for dangerous contact follows an incident in the Warriors’ 20-16 win over Cronulla in Sydney last Saturday which shattered opposition backrower Anthony Tupou’s jaw, an injury which is expected to sideline him for 10 weeks.
Tupou suffered the injury while trying to make a side-on tackle on a charging Hurrell, who had raised his left knee.
Coach Andrew McFadden says Hurrell’s running style is something the club have been working on.
“It’s a difficult one,” he said.
“Konrad has been running like that for a long time.
“From time to time he does lift his knee – he’s a driving player – so it’s something we’re going to have to work on, and we have been working on.”
However, McFadden felt that the Tupou incident was an accident and said there was no intent to cause injury.
He said the Warriors thought long and hard about contesting the charge, which was rated grade three on the NRL’s five-step system, but concluded that it would be difficult to get it reduced given the focus on blows to the head.
With the club having a bye next week, Hurrell is effectively out for a month.
The 23-year-old Tongan international won’t be available again until the Sydney Roosters visit Mt Smart Stadium on June 13.
McFadden said Hurrell was disappointed but philosophical over his ban.
“He started to play some really good football on the weekend,” McFadden said.
“He wants to be there every week but he realises that this is the nature of the game at the moment. There’s a lot of scrutiny over head injuries.”