Club will deal with ’ ugly’ incidents: coach
SHARKS coach Shane Flanagan spoke for all of rugby league last night when he declared: “We all don’t want the ugly parent in sport.”
Flanagan was talking after learning his star prop Andrew Fifita and his twin brother David were involved in an ugly incident at a junior rugby league game where they abused and threatened a referee.
“I was at junior league yesterday. We all don’t want the ugly parent in sport. We want the officials to feel safe,” Flanagan said.
“We’re not making excuses here, as the club will deal with it really strongly. As I said, the right people are in control of that. I’ll coach the footy team.”
The Sharks put the Fifita brothers’ alleged referee abuse to the side to score a crucial win and leapfrog the Bulldogs into sixth place on the ladder.
Canterbury coach Des Hasler was “filthy” at his side’s bumbling effort yesterday as Cronulla ruined the Bulldogs’ emotional return to their spiritual home.
The Bulldogs fumbled their way through 80 frustrating minutes to hand- deliver Cronulla an 18- 16 win before nearly 20,000 disappointed fans at Belmore Sports Ground.
Both sides were poor yesterday. Together, they completed just 41 of their combined 78 sets, made 33 handling errors and missed 46 tackles.
While the Sharks moved to within two points of the top four, the Bulldogs were left teetering ahead of this week’s blockbuster against the whitehot Sydney Roosters.
“We are really disappointed, probably filthy the way we played and how we went about it,” Hasler said.
“We really lost that game, which is disappointing with the fans and everybody turning up. They deserved a bit better than what we served up today.”
Sharks captain Paul Gallen was placed on report for a high tackle on Josh Morris. Cronulla’s Luke Lewis has a knee injury and may miss two games.
Yet they took the Cowboys to golden point, beaten 20- 19 as Johnathan Thurston again proved his brilliance.
The Eels will hope to replicate the Sharks’ shock performance.
They have replaced No. 7 Chris Sandow, released following a series of blow- ups with the club, with Joseph Paulo who is usually a backrower.
Arthur said the drama was a non- issue for the playing group. “We do a good job of shielding them from the outside influences,” he said.
“We have had distractions all year. It is not new to us. He ( Sandow) has to do what is best for him. We have to move on.
“The boys are trying very hard. We are competing hard and been in every game and that’s what our fans want.
“We don’t have much lose except our pride.”
Cowboys prop Matt Scott is expected to overcome a knee injury to play tonight.
Ben Hannant, who is set to re- sign with the club, said the absence of Sandow was a nonissue for his club.
“I couldn’t care less who plays for them,” Hannant said.
“No matter who they throw in there, we will have the same defensive structures.”
Sharks winger Valentine Holmes celebrates his try.
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