HE cannot remember much of his NRL debut but Knights young gun Kyle O’Donnell is on the road to recovery after being crunched by Souths prop Sam Burgess at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
O’Donnell played just seven minutes, according to NRL Stats, making four runs (including two tackle breaks) for 44 metres and three tackles. It was on the last of those runs, a kick-off return after Aku Uate’s second try, that the 21-year-old prop bore the brunt of Burgess’s big bonce.
He was snoring before his head hit the Homebush turf, was taken to hospital for precautionary scans, and spent the night in Sydney with family before returning home on Monday.
The former Junior Kangaroos representative told a friend yesterday that he still felt ‘‘a little bit dusty’’ and would not play this weekend, but is confident of returning next week.
If not required for the NRL team’s trip to Auckland to tackle the Warriors on July 21, he will line up for Newcastle in a NSW Cup game against Windsor at No.2 Sportsground a day later.
O’Donnell said his only recollection from the game was a hazy memory of tackling Greg Inglis.
■ He would rather be playing for new club Melbourne against the Cowboys on Saturday night but Tongan international Richie Fa’aoso will instead be at Henson Park playing for Cronulla in a NSW Cup game against his former Knights teammates.
Fa’aoso expects to be targeted but intends giving as good as he gets.
‘‘Yeah, it should be fun,’’ said Fa’aoso, who said he was trying to stay patient while he waits for a call-up from Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
■ Former Knights back-rower Cory Paterson scored four tries for Northern Pride in their 38-26 victory over Central Capras in a Queensland Cup game in Cairns on Saturday.
But it was not enough for the three-time Indigenous All Star to be selected in coach Neil Henry’s 19-man squad for the Cowboys’ trip to Melbourne to play the Storm on Saturday, meaning he will be in Mt Isa the same day lining up for the Pride against Souths Logan.
Paterson, who turns 25 on Saturday, will leave the Cowboys at the end of the season to begin a two-year contract with English Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers.
■ Another former Knight, Gold Coast prop Matt White, signed a new three-year deal with Gold Coast yesterday.
The 28-year-old Inverell Hawks junior joined the Titans in 2009 and the new deal means he will remain at Robina until the end of 2015.
After 28 NRL appearances in three seasons with the Knights, White has played 80 games in the past four seasons in a Titans pack studded with Origin forwards.
“I’ve just really enjoyed my time up here,’’ White said in a Titans media release yesterday.
‘‘It’s a good spot to live and a great club to be involved with so it would have been pretty hard to leave.
“At Newcastle I was in and out of first grade so it’s good that I’ve been able cement a consistent first-grade spot and establish myself with the Titans.
“We basically have an Origin forward pack at the club and with Dave Taylor I’m looking forward to playing with all those blokes next year.’’
The Titans also secured 22-year-old back-rower Ben Ridge for two more years.
■ Premiership-winning captains Paul Harragon and Andrew Johns were the only Knights voted into Rugby League Week magazine’s all-time NSW Origin team last week.
Almost 10,000 RLW readers voted, and Harragon (31 per cent) and Johns (62 per cent) topped their positional categories. Danny Buderus, who captained the Blues in a record 15 straight Origin games, polled 39 per cent of the vote for hooker to finish second to Ben Elias (50 per cent).
Other Knights to poll in their positions were centre Matt Gidley (six per cent), lock Ben Kennedy (four per cent), wingers Aku Uate (three per cent), Adam MacDougall (two per cent) and Timana Tahu (on per cent), and fullback Kurt Gidley (one per cent). Robbie O’Davis polled two per cent of the Queensland fullback vote behind standout No.1 Billy Slater (79 per cent).
Queensland legend Darren Lockyer missed out on the Maroons team, polling behind Slater for fullback and ‘‘King’’ Wally Lewis for five-eighth.