Broncos cop huge blow as Walsh's night ends early

Broncos cop huge blow as Walsh’s night ends early

In a huge blow for the Brisbane Broncos, star fullback Reece Walsh was ruled out midway through the 2023 grand final rematch against the Panthers after a brutal head knock early in the game.

The 21-year-old clashed mid-air with Penrith winger Taylan May just five minutes into the game.

Vision showed blood quickly gushing from a large cut under Walsh’s left eye as he was rushed into the sheds.

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“He’s just been opened up,” Brad Fittler said in commentary for Nine.

May was penalised and put on report for the late hit, however the referee’s decision split pundits.

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The Broncos star was sent for an HIA, which he ended up passing after a lengthy break to have the cut under his eye stitched up.

He approached the sideline in the first half and several practice passes but appeared to be troubled by impaired vision in his left eye.

Broncos assistant coach Matt Ballin confirmed at the main break that Walsh would not return.

“He copped a fair whack in the head and he won’t be back,” Ballin told Nine.

Walsh’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Broncos, who trailed by 20 points at half time.

Despite the blow, Ballin said it was a great test of the Broncos’ character.

“There’s a lot of belief. It’s a good test for us, testing our resolve in this second half,” he said.

Walsh will be sent for scans on Friday morning. He will be unable to fly back to Brisbane with his teammates if a facial fracture is detected.

A facial fracture would also rule him out for several weeks.

“He is visibly in a lot of pain,” Nine’s Danika Mason said post-match.

“Some really tough times for Reece Walsh and the Brisbane Broncos because he is such a valuable player to this footy side.”

The Broncos struggled without Walsh’s speed out the back, succumbing to the reigning premiers 34-12.

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