Cronulla leg­ends Bishop & Wat­son live in hope

Pair of Pommy Test greats have their fin­gers crossed for a maiden pre­mier­ship

Rugby League Week - - News - GREG PRICHARD

CLIFF WAT­SON AND TOMMY BISHOP, the two Great Bri­tain leg­ends who each played huge roles in the first Cronulla side to make a first-grade grand fi­nal, are pulling for the Sharks to go one bet­ter than they did.

No-holds-barred prop Wat­son and half­back and cap­tain-coach Bishop played in the vi­o­lent 1973 de­cider, which Cronulla lost 10-7 to Manly.

Both Wat­son, who still lives in the Suther­land Shire, and Bishop, who now re­sides at Red­cliffe, say they’d love to be there if they do make it.

“Oh, for sure, yeah – once a Sharkie al­ways a Sharkie,” says Bishop, 75.

“Oh yeah, def­i­nitely, I’d love to see them win it,” says Wat­son, 76.

“They’ve got a ter­rific pack of for­wards who can use the ball and are tough and they've got some backs who can score a try out of noth­ing,” Bishop says. “We had a cou­ple of play­ers like that in 1973, in­clud­ing Steve Rogers, of course . . . But I don’t want to say too much in case I put the mocker on them!”

While the pair are happy about Cronulla’s form, they’re not en­joy­ing the mod­ern game.

“The crowd like to see a bit of knuckle. If a cou­ple of play­ers have a push and a shove and take a swipe at each other and then get on with the game, why bother to stop the game just for that?” says Wat­son.

“And how can a ref­eree award a try and then ask the ques­tion of some­one else, ‘Was it a try?’ I mean, he’s al­ready given the bloody try. It’s get­ting more like grid­iron in Amer­ica all the bloody time.”

Bishop agrees: “There are too many ref­er­ees and with video re­plays and shot clocks, it’s be­com­ing like grid­iron.”

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