Interim Sharks coach Josh Hannay says it was “ridiculous” that play was forced to momentarily stop after Panthers back-rower Viliame Kikau suffered a minor injury.
With the Sharks leading by 12 late in the second half tonight, referee Ashley Klein stopped play while Cronulla had the ball just 10 metres out from the try line.
A Penrith trainer had asked the referee to stop play so they could assist Kikau, who appeared to have suffered just a minor ankle injury.
Rugby league great Phil Gould said Klein made a “terrible” decision to listen to the club trainer, with play generally only to be stopped if there’s a serious injury or disruption.
“That should not be allowed, it’s an ankle injury,” Gould told Nine.
“He had already jogged back 80 or 90 metres. That part of the rule needs to be looked at, that’s terrible.
“That took away all their momentum, the Sharks. They had the Panthers on the rack.
“Put down a try-saver for the physiotherapist.”
Despite the controversy, the moment didn’t stop the Sharks from claiming a 19-18 win over the Panthers.
However, Hannay after the match shared a similar view to Gould when he was asked by a reporter if he had an opinion on the play being stopped for Kikau’s injury.
NRL Highlights: The Sharks escape with a thrilling win over the Panthers – Round 14
“Yeah I do [have an opinion], 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.
“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 we are celebrating a win.”
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