Cronulla’s Wade Graham has left Gold Coast rival Ryan James fuming after allegedly lying at the golden point coin toss in Monday’s NRL draw at Robina.
James, leading the Titans in place of injured co-captains Nathan Friend and Will Zillman, said Graham changed his call after the toss to decide who would kick off the opening period of extra time in the 18-all draw.
Graham was the Sharks’ representative at the toss with captain Paul Gallen sitting on the interchange bench.
James said after initially calling tails, Graham had claimed he called heads when the coin landed on heads.
A subsequent retake of the toss landed the Sharks’ way and allowed them to receive the kick off for the first set of the sudden-death period – a potentially match-winning advantage.
“It should have been us receiving but we had to kick off. We would have had an extra set,” James said.
“That’s a massive play … I was frustrated at that.”
If Graham had committed the crime though, he wasn’t confessing any time soon.
“You’ll have to go back and check the tape there,” the representative forward told AAP.
“The referee is there to officiate it. I only play the game.”
Monday’s result keeps the Sharks on top of the ladder but ends their remarkable 15-game winning streak.
Hard-running prop Andrew Fifita completed the match but left the ground on crutches and favouring his left leg.
The Sharks couldn’t elaborate on whether Fifita was injured or just suffering cramp, but coach Shane Flanagan will be hoping it’s not serious with a crunch match against third-placed Canberra this weekend.
“That’s going to be massive isn’t it, the way they’re playing and us coming off 90 minutes,” Graham said.
“I’m sure Shark Park will be filled up. It’s going to be a cracker game.”