Cronulla down NZ Warriors 24-8 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cronulla down NZ Warriors 24-8

By Todd Balym 14/06/2008 10:56:09 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla and NSW star Greg Bird has vowed to keep his "chin clean" after overcoming his recent dramas with Queensland Police to help lead the Sharks to a 24-8 NRL win over the New Zealand Warriors at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.

Bird was arrested outside a Brisbane nightclub early on Thursday morning following the Blues Origin II loss to Queensland after police claimed he had acted belligerently and failed to obey orders from officers.

He was handcuffed and placed in a police car only to be released around five minutes later with a warning.

However Bird claimed, and still maintains, the situation had been some sort of practical joke by the police and he had not acted inappropriately.

Bird would not speak directly about the incident following Saturday night's four tries to one win in front of a paltry crowd of just 9,023 fans, but thanked club coach Ricky Stuart and chief executive Tony Zappia for supporting him and vowed not to put himself in similar circumstances in the future.

"It was pretty a daunting sort of thing that happened," said Bird.

"(Cronulla) have stood by me pretty well and tried to help me get my head clear for tonight.

"It's a shame the circumstances that happened. I have to keep my chin clean and move on.

"It was frustrating (the last few days) but I was pretty happy with my performance tonight and I feel a little bit better now.

"It was fairly upsetting having people ring me and question my integrity but I've told my story and there's not much else I can say.

"The next couple of weeks I will just let my footy do the talking."

Bird produced a tireless effort in Saturday night's victory where the Sharks overcome a horrendous completion rate to score four tries from kicks and defeat the hapless Warriors.

Centre David Simmons scored a double while winger Luke Covell and centre Ben Pomeroy each scored late tries to seal the win, while Warriors centre Jerome Ropati was the lone tryscorer for the visitors.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary was upset at the performance of referee Ben Cummins, particularly his policing of the ruck.

"The play the ball speed went to new levels of slowness," said Cleary.

"It kind of choked the life out of us."

Cronulla skipper and NSW lock Paul Gallen came under fire for using his knees to slow the play the ball down, with Cummins calling him out after the first try to Simmons to personally warn him against leaning in with his knees to the Warriors players.

Gallen's actions will be scrutinised by the NRL match review committee on Monday morning, but he remains confident there was nothing sinister to worry about.

"He just said for me to get my knees out of the ruck. I was just trying to slow the play the ball down," explained Gallen.

Queensland Origin star Brent Tate will also come under the eye of the match review committee after a 17th minute high tackle on Bird which was penalised but not placed on report.

Bird struck Tate high early in the second which was also penalised, but both incidents are unlikely to attract charges that would jeopardise their places in the Origin III decider at ANZ Stadium on July 2.

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