The Wests Tigers have raised concerns with the Queensland Rugby League after it took Maroons officials more than 24 hours to contact the club’s medical staff to inform them of a life-threatening incident involving captain Moses Mbye.
While obviously relieved that Mbye emerged unscathed after suffering an allergic reaction, the Tigers were also disappointed that they were not immediately informed of the incident.
Mbye narrowly escaped disaster after suffering a bad reaction on Friday morning. It is understood the Tigers medical staff were informed the next day, while chief executive Justin Pascoe and head of football Kelly Egan were not contacted.
“Not comfortable that we were not informed immediately — he is a Wests Tigers contracted player and captain of our club and we deserve the right to be informed when any of our players are in situations like that,” Pascoe said.
Queensland officials have lauded the expertise of their medical staff and insisted there are no risks in Mbye playing in the second State of Origin game only a matter of days after the Maroons utility had a frightening brush with death.
The Queensland Rugby League released a statement yesterday afternoon confirming Mbye had developed a serious reaction on Friday morning, the intervention of team doctor Matt Hislop preventing a disaster after the Wests Tigers captain went into anaphylactic shock — a life-threatening allergic reaction that can result in swelling of the tongue and throat.
If left untreated, it can result in death. Hislop found Mbye on the floor outside his hotel room and gave the Maroons star an injection of adrenalin.
Queensland Rugby League chief executive Rob Moore insisted Mbye had suffered no long-term effects and there was no risk in him playing at Optus Stadium tomorrow night.
He also lavished praise on Hislop for his quick response, that ultimately may have saved Mbye’s life.
“He has been a round sport a long time as well but I suppose he is still a doctor underneath all that,” Moore said.
“He doesn’t forget his training. Just grateful the team doctors were on the spot and had everything he needed.
“We have always ensured we have had the best medical team around the players. We accept the fact we are borrowing [the players] off the NRL clubs for a period each year and we have to provide as good or better than what they get at their clubs.”
Moore said the NRL and Mbye’s club the Wests Tigers had been kept informed of developments and insisted there were no risks in him playing in a game that could ultimately decide this year’s Origin series.
“Once you get the shot it clears it up pretty quick,” Moore said.
“If you can get it even earlier it has a bigger impact I think. From the point of view long term there wouldn’t be anything from that one episode.
“The key now will be when he gets home, to find out what is triggering it.
“There is a lot more people now that are finding out they are allergic to things.
“You have to be very careful. All we can learn from it is you can’t assume that everyone isn’t going to have an allergic reaction to something.”
Mbye also insisted he would be ready to play — he completed Queensland’s final training run at Optus Stadium yesterday.
“It was something that came on unexpectedly,” Mbye said.
“I have never experienced anything like that before. It was obviously a reaction to something.
“I started feeling a bit itchy and lightheaded — I phoned the doc and he managed it professionally. We had all our supplies here ready to go and we got on top of it early.
“I’m feeling sweet now and ready to play.”
The QRL released a statement confirming Mbye had suffered a serious reaction and called Hislop. “By the time I was able to see him, he was beginning to show signs of the reaction with a skin rash and swelling,” Hislop said.
“I started treatment immediately and he responded quickly.”
Mbye stayed with the team while he was closely monitored.
“His vital signs were observed for a number of hours after the event,” Hislop said.
“He stabilised and made a complete recovery. We’ve got a well-stocked medical kit to deal with all sorts of emergencies.
“Moses is medically stable, and there is no risk with him playing or training, but he will need to have further tests done when he returns to Sydney.”
Mbye received limited time in the opening Origin game but he is a crucial figure in the squad given he has the capacity to a range of positions including hooker, the halves, centre and fullback.
At a pinch, Mbye can also play as an ancillary back rower. Queensland coach Kevin Walters lauded Mbye at his final press conference today.
“We have a lot of confidence in what Moses can bring,” he said.
“Moses had just a little window of opportunity in game one, we know he is a terrific player at club level, he showed that he could handle the step up in class albeit for short period of time.
“But he will be ready to go when we need him.”