North Queensland’s Grand Final hopes ended this weekend in somewhat controversial fashion.
The Cowboys lost to Parramatta Eels 24-20 who will now meet Penrith in the final, but the Cowboys can count themselves unlucky.
This is because Parramatta’s first try appeared to come from a forward pass that NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley has admitted was indeed forward and that a mistake was in fact made.
However, reaching the semis was an achievement for the Queensland club and they should have been proud to get within 80 minutes of the Grand Final, especially one young man.
Tom Dearden, Cowboys playmaker, suffered a nasty injury in their game against the Warriors in Round 23 as he ruptured a testicle and could be seen wincing in pain as it happened.
However, remarkably he went on to score two tries and pick up the Man of the Match award.
So close to the end of the season, this left his finals hopes up in the air and he was even open to losing his testicle if needs be.
Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary but emergency surgery did leave him in excruciating pain for days after yet he was still able to battle back and be ready for the finals helped along by a little protection.
He revealed to Stuff that he is now wearing a cup as extra precaution when playing saying: “It’s more for precaution in case you get another hit there.”
He also opened up about the surgery:
“It was obviously a nervous time for me. I did it about 20 minutes into the Warriors game. The adrenaline kicked in so I didn’t really know I had done much damage until later that night.
“I felt sick and nauseous that night.
“When I showed the doctor the next morning how swollen it was, he sent me straight to hospital and I was having surgery that afternoon.
“The surgeon was talking about how there was a 10-to-12-hour window to stop the bleeding so they can try and save it.
“They drained all the blood and stitched it up. It was a quick surgery.
“The boys pretty much started with the jokes the next day at recovery. It then ended up in the media, and there have been jokes about it [ever since].”