A last-gasp field goal from unwanted Sharks star Shaun Johnson fired Cronulla to a 19-18 victory over the Penrith Panthers, but there was one moment in particular that had rugby league legend Phil Gould up in arms.
The Sharks were up by 12 points deep into the second half, but with the Panthers gaining some wind in their sails, the Shire-based outfit needed to extend their lead to ensure they would leave with all the spoils.
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However, a minor injury — or some quick thinking — caused Panthers forward Viliame Kikau to go down with what appeared to be a minor ankle injury.
Cronulla had possession just a mere 10 metres from Penrith’s try line, but Kikau hit the deck and required medical attention from the team trainer.
The trainer subsequently requested the referee to halt the game, but Gould felt that halting the game was completely unnecessary.
“That should not be allowed, it’s an ankle injury,” Gold said on Nine’s broadcast of the game.
“He had already jogged back 80 or 90 metres. That part of the rule needs to be looked at, that’s terrible.
Kikau went down with a supposed ankle injury.Source:Getty Images
“That took away all their momentum, the Sharks. They had the Panthers on the rack.
“Put down a try-saver for the physiotherapist.”
Gould wasn’t the only one who had Kikau in their crosshairs, either.
Interim Sharks coach Josh Hannay was also frustrated about the referee pausing the game.
When asked if he had an opinion over the incident, Hannay seemed to hold back on his true feelings.
“Yeah I do, but I probably won’t share it… it is ridiculous,” Hannay said.
“I thought the rule was for serious injuries play would be stopped, but if it is not serious play would go on.
The Panthers dearly miss their Origin stars.Source:Getty Images
“I know it is a difficult one for the people in charge out there because you are dealing with people’s health.
“I get that, but it kind of looked like it wasn’t a serious injury and we probably could have put the game away there if the game was allowed to flow.
“So thankfully we are sitting here and celebrating a win.”
The loss condemned Ivan Cleary’s side to their second straight defeat after romping to 12 wins from the opening 12 games of the season, opening the door for the Melbourne Storm to equal their points tally should the Victorian side defeat the Warriors on Sunday.
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