Kimmorley campaign pays off for Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kimmorley campaign pays off for Sharks

By Todd Balym 22/06/2008 06:59:59 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla halfback Brett Kimmorley got what he wanted but the controversial 16-14 NRL win over Parramatta at Toyota Stadium still left a bad taste in his mouth.

Kimmorley campaigned long and hard to the NRL last year to change rules giving more protection to kickers after his season was ended by a knee injury suffered in a Steve Price charge down in Origin III.

Those changes he brought about handed the Sharks victory after Kimmorley was hit late and high by Eels prop Fuifui Moimoi when attempting a 45m field goal in the 79th minute resulting in a gift penalty goal for Luke Covell to seal the win.

Kimmorley's attempt missed, but he lay prone on the turf clutching his head after the incident allowing time for video referee Bill Harrigan to view replays before the Eels could re-start play.

Harrigan told whistleblower Shayne Hayne to penalise Moimoi for the contact, handing the Sharks a penalty where the ball landed - 10m out and directly in front of the posts.

Eels captain Nathan Cayless called Kimmorley a "very experienced player" when asked of his decision to stay on the ground, but Sharks doctors later confirmed the halfback would be sent for x-rays on a suspected fractured eye socket on Monday.

Kimmorley insists he didn't stay down to get a penalty, but admits the way Cronulla won was not ideal.

"It felt like someone had poked my eye in," said Kimmorley.

"I felt like it was a shit way to win. It was a good game of footy and probably not a good result but I didn't stay down to get the penalty.

"If he doesn't hit me we don't get the penalty."

Cayless said Moimoi had no chance to avoid contact after leaping in the air to charge down the kick and was angry the result was "taken out of our hands".

Moimoi apologised to teammates after the game, but the Eels players are holding no grudges even though the loss cost them a chance to move into the top eight for the first time this year.

"He was very apologetic to the boys. He didn't mean to do it, he didn't mean to give a penalty away. He was just trying to put some kick pressure on him," said Cayless of Moimoi.

"It's a shame that either team had to lose by a referee's decision in such a high quality game. I thought it was a bit unfair but they got the points and we just have to move on to next week."

While the decision ultimately decided the contest, few could argue the Sharks were not the better team as both sides scored two tries in front of the vocal crowd of 17,547.

Parramatta started better with winger Taulima Tautai strolling over in the corner after 10 minutes, before Sharks hooker Isaac De Gois darted across from dummy half in the 24th minute.

The Sharks lost Greg Bird to a posterior cruciate knee ligament injury just shy of the half hour, however the Eels were unable to take advantage of his departure or a heavy tailwind to extend their half time lead beyond 8-6.

The two sides traded penalty goals after the break before Sharks five-eighth Brett Seymour came up with a sensational strip on rookie Eels winger Tony Williams in goal that gifted Luke Douglas a four-pointer and Cronulla the lead in the 57th minute.

Williams made amends in the 75th minute by scoring in the corner to level scores 14-all, but Luke Burt's conversion attempt sailed narrowly under the cross bar.

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