‘Please explain’: Sharks trainer sparks debate over ‘gamesmanship’ act in Raiders win

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The Canberra Raiders have reportedly been left fuming after a Cronulla Sharks trainer ran right next to goalkicker Jamal Fogarty as he was lining up an all-important kick on Sunday night.

The Raiders blew an 18-point lead after 23 minutes to fall 30-18 behind after 62 minutes.

But the visitors hit back through winger James Shiller in the 71st minute, leaving Fogarty with a tough sideline conversion to bring the match back to a converted try difference.

The Raiders halfback struck the kick well but his attempt curled out and hit the post, leaving Canberra eight-points in arrears.

The Sharks ended up scoring again to make it a 36-22 win.

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Post-match, Ricky Stuart wasn’t putting the blame on anything but the performance of his charges.

“We were winning 18-0 playing poorly.

“We played a patch of 12 or 14 minutes of half-decent football, outside of that we were embarrassing. It was awful.

“We worked too hard in the off-season, that’s not us, that’s definitely not us, but tonight it was.”

He added the side was “abysmal” and that the issues “will be dealt with”.

But on Channel 9’s 100% Footy on Monday night, reporter Michael Chammas said the Raiders were quietly fuming after Sharks trainer Daniel Holdsworth ran past Fogarty during the important kick.

“If you are Graham Annesley (you’d be) waiting from a call from Ricky Stuart or the Canberra Raiders tomorrow, I imagine,” Chammas said.

“They were pretty disappointed with this late in the game with a kick to make it a six point game with seven and a half minutes on the clock. As you can see, Sharks trainer Daniel Holdsworth runs through his line of sight.”

Sharks legend Paul Gallen interjected: “It wasn’t in his line of sight. He wouldn’t have even seen him.”

“The Canberra Raiders are going to lodge a formal complaint with the NRL, they’re going to ask for a please explain,” Chammas said.

A dismissive Gallen added: “Well good luck.”

Chammas argued that a similar incident in 2022 when Eels blue shirt trainer Steve Murphy ran across the goalpost as Panthers star Nathan Cleary went for a kick that ultimately missed in a 22-20 Parramatta victory led to a $5000 fine.

Gallen argued it was a lot different, saying Murphy was “on the field, running past the goalposts”.

Chammas said the Holdsworth incident was “a lot worse, the guy’s a metre away from him.”

Gallen said: “Daniel Holdsworth is off the field, he’s not even on the field and Fogarty is looking at nothing but the ball.”

“Are you saying Daniel Holdsworth wasn’t aware of when it was, time of the game that he was going to run in?” Chammas asked incredulously.

“He was running back to get a message from the coach,” Gallen said. “If he wasn’t back there, he would have got in trouble from the coach. I’m running back there ASAP.”

Phil Gould said he believed the same issue happened a lot in games.

“Players will be lining up for a kick and the bloke that’s been replaced, you’ll see players walk past them all the time and have a crack at them because they smile, you see them giggle because they talk to each other. Alfie Langer stands in your hip pocket.”

“Alfie squirts water at you,” Gallen added.

Despite the protestations of the footy greats, host James Bracey was firmly on the side of Chammas and the Raiders.

“That is worse than the Cleary one — he’s right next to him,” Bracey said.

But Gallen stuck by his convictions.

“He’s off the field, for starters, he’s off the field of play — there is no way he can get in trouble. He’s not on the field,” Gallen said.

However, Chammas also stuck to his guns.

“He knew,” he began. “He is about to walk in. He happened to run past at that moment?”

Gould added: “Next thing you will want the crowd to be quiet during the kick. It’s not golf.”

Chammas finished: “Some gamesmanship happening at the Cronulla Sharks at the crucial moment.”

Gallen had the last word however: “Play on — he was not on the field.”