The Cronulla Sharks had their winning streak snapped on Monday Night by the Gold Coast Titans in a game that ended in an 18-all draw after Golden Point extra time.
The game will be remembered for a number of controversial incidents including players allegedly lying down to draw penalties, allegations Wade Graham lied at the coin toss in extra time, Eels legend Peter Sterling giving Andrew Fifita a serve on the radio, a fight during the match, and both club coaches calling for Golden Point to be scrapped.
Apart from that, not too much happened really!
The incident that could have heavy ramifications for the Sharks however happened in the 88th minutes when Sharks half James Maloney was penalised and put on report for a dangerous hold in a tackle on Titans player Konrad Hurrell.
Maloney appeared to twist Hurrell’s leg in the tackle and Hurrell stayed down. Maloney claimed Hurrell himself told him that he was ok and just staying down to try and earn a penalty.
Maloney now faces three games on the sideline if he is found guilty, a result that could cost the Sharks the minor premiership and have an effect on the National Rugby League betting odds.
This all brings into focus the growing trend of players staying down to draw penalties. Fans don’t like it, and other players are obviously not happy about it. It is hard to see how it can be stamped out of the game however.
Calls by both coaches to scrap Golden Point extra time are just the usual whinge by coaches if you ask me. We have heard the same arguments over and over again by coaches, who hate any sort of unpredictability.
Rugby League has a funny way of whinging itself from one idea to the next. From bringing in an interchange system, to going to unlimited interchange, then back to limited interchange, then cutting it back further….from being happy with drawn games, then hating them and bringing in extra time, then hating extra time and needing draws again, to adding the video referee, expanding its role, changing to the bunker, and now wanting to scrap the bunker, there is always someone in Rugby League looking to have a whinge.
I dare suggest that had either team managed to pull off a win on Monday night, only one of the coaches would have whinged about Golden Point extra time.
I personally love Golden Point games. I would hate to see them scrapped.
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