Canterbury star Josh Reynolds shouldn’t have had to apologise for his extraordinary mid-match spray at teammate Michael Lichaa, according to captain James Graham.
Reynolds gave Lichaa a mighty gobful after being thrown a bad pass at a critical juncture in their NRL loss to the Warriors last weekend, pegging the ball back the hooker’s way in frustration.
The Bulldogs’ five-eighth eventually apologised to Lichaa, an act Graham considered unnecessary.
“When you’re playing in a team like that and you’re close, he doesn’t need to say sorry,” Graham said on Tuesday.
“He has apologised, but I don’t personally think he needed to. You see one moment on the TV and people question things, but it shows me he cares.”
An embarrassed Lichaa was unaware of Reynolds’ on-field snap as he was busy chastising himself for the turnover, but had no qualms with it – in fact saying Reynolds should’ve aimed the ball better than he did.
“For him to feel comfortable enough to do that to me, he should’ve got me in the face. It was that bad of a ball,” Lichaa said.
“I didn’t know (about it) until we got to the sheds because I think I was yelling on the ground. I was a bit embarrassed about the pass. I said to him, ‘You should’ve got me, because it was a shocking pass’.”
Lichaa said Reynolds simply deserved better service.
“He expects better from me and I expected better from myself from that pass. In that situation, we had the ball in good position and I let him down and he let me know. That’s what happens in footy,” he said.
“I wouldn’t want to be walking around on eggshells and thinking I wouldn’t know what the other players are thinking. If he wants to tell me, that’s how it is. I’m definitely happy with it.”
The incident raised questions of dissent in the Bulldogs’ ranks, a disharmony that Graham immediately shot down.
“If he just walked off, collected his pay cheque and didn’t care, that’s when you want to start asking questions,” he said.
“We don’t need to be seeing that every single time someone does something wrong, but I’ve got no problem with it … I don’t think it’s a big deal. It doesn’t really need to be talked about too much.”