Sharks caretaker coach Josh Hannay said it was “ridiculous” that play was paused after back rower William Keko sustained a minor injury.
With Sharks ahead by 12 late in the second half tonight, referee Ashley Cline stopped play while Cronulla had the ball just 10 meters from the trying line.
Penrith’s coach asked the referee to stop playing so he could help Kekao, who appeared to have suffered a minor ankle injury.
Rugby league star Phil Gold said Klein made the “terrible” decision to listen to the club’s coach, with play generally only being suspended if there was a serious injury or disorder.
“It shouldn’t be allowed, it’s an ankle injury,” Gould told Nine.
“He’s already 80 or 90 meters back. This part of the base needs to be looked at, that’s terrible.
“That took away all their momentum, the sharks. They had leopards on the shelf.
“Put an attempt to stop for a physiotherapist. “
Despite the controversy, the moment didn’t stop the sharks from claiming 19-18 defeated the Panthers.
However, after the match, Haney shared a similar view of Gold when a reporter asked him if he had an opinion on stopping play due to Kekao’s injury.
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“yes I do [have an opinion], but I probably won’t share it. “That’s a ridiculous thing,” Hanay said.
“I thought the rule was for serious injuries, then play will be stopped, but if it is not serious then play will continue.
“I know it’s tough for the people in charge out there because you’re dealing with people’s health.
“I got it, but it looked like it wasn’t a serious injury and maybe we could have put the match away if the match had been allowed to flow.
“And it is fortunate that we are sitting here and celebrating the victory.”
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