Podcast: 'I spat about four or five fragments of teeth out'

In 2013 Shaun Kenny-Dowall won a grand final with the Sydney Roosters.

It was the highlight of his career. It was also his mother's birthday. 

The Roosters went from finishing 13th the previous season to premiership success.

It was a 26-18 victory to the Tricolours, made all the sweeter by the fact Kenny-Dowall also got a try that day.

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But what is so remarkable about the winger's story on that day is he did it with a shattered jaw on a field which shares a lot of significance for his family.

It was on this day, 13 years earlier when his father John Dowall won gold in javelin at the 2000 Paralympic games.

This is what he remembers about that day:


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"It was probably the pinnacle of my career and something I will hold fondly to my heart for the rest of my days," Kenny-Dowall told the Our Town Our Team podcast.

"It was pretty tough. I did it (broke my jaw) early on. Probably 10-15 minutes into the game.

"It was a broken jaw. Don't wear a mouth guard, ever. I think the impact had more severity because I wasn't wearing a mouth guard.


"I ended up getting George Rose's knee to the side of the head and I spat about four or five fragments of teeth out.

"My mouth was just filling up with blood and I've gone 'oh, I've done something bad here'. I didn't know at that point that it was a broken jaw though.

"I thought all my teeth had come out and that wasn't too good.

"At that point I'd lost a few teeth and just got up to play the ball and got back into position. I didn't call the trainer down or anything. I didn't think it was anything worthy of bringing to the trainer's attention. I wanted to focus 100 per cent on the game.

"That was my mentality, so I made the decision from impact that I wasn't going to let it affect me for the rest of the game.


"I tried to get on with my job as best as I could. For the majority of the first half, I couldn't really think. Adrenaline got me through. In breaks and scrums and stoppages, my mouth was really filling up with blood, so I was spiting out blood all the time.

"It wasn't until halftime that I realised, 'oh this isn't good'. The pain started to kick in once I stopped moving.

"Trent Robinson looked at me at halftime and said; 'mate, are you alright?'. I had this big lump sticking out of my jaw. I was like, 'yep, I'm sweet'.

"I'd made the decision I wasn't going to miss this grand final. Some people never play in grand finals in their whole careers. I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip.


"It was actually mum's birthday on grand final day. It was October 6 and I think it was 13 years earlier, my old man won a gold medal on the same field, almost to the day as well.

"It was early October that he went to the Paralympics and won gold for New Zealand on exactly the same field so it was pretty amazing feeling having watched my dad go through that in 2000 and then to have some really good success on exactly the same field is a pretty special thing."

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