Dyldam Parramatta Eels lock Anthony Watmough says he was shocked but not injured by a knee to the chest from Sea Eagles prop James Hasson on Friday night.
Hasson was placed on report early in the second half for a raised knee on his former teammate, and Watmough left the field for medical attention clutching his ribs, but the veteran forward said the surprise factor outweighed the physical impact.
“I was winded,” Watmough said.
“I didn’t know what happened! I didn’t even know I got kneed. They (my ribs) still feel like they’re pushed back to my spine.”
“But I know ‘Hass’ (Hasson) really well and I know he wouldn’t have done it on purpose; I know there was no malice in it. I just hope he doesn’t get in trouble for it.”
The Round One clash was Watmough’s first NRL appearance for his new club, and a chance to put to rest the building anticipation of the face-off with his former teammates.
“It was a big build up, but we can put that behind us now and concentrate on moving forward with Parramatta,” Watmough said.
“It’s out of the way, it’s done, it’s dusted. I’ve got a new chapter in my life now and it’s good to start that chapter with a win, and good to see the fans turn out.”
Not even a vocal contingent of Sea Eagles supporters could dampen the win for Watmough.
“It was good to get booed, too.”