It is the ‘gamesmanship” that could have cost Cronulla a shot at their maiden NRL title, but Sharks star James Maloney claims he feels no ill will towards Gold Coast centre Konrad Hurrell after his visit to the judiciary.
Maloney risked a three-match ban by challenging his dangerous conduct charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night, a suspension that could have put a significant dent in the Sharks premiership hopes.
As it was the panel of Bob Lindner, Royce Ayliffe and Sean Garlick took 10 minutes to find NSW playmaker Maloney not guilty of the charge which stemmed from Monday night’s draw on the Gold Coast.
During the hearing Maloney repeated his claim that his former Warriors teammate Hurrell told him post-match he was trying to milk a penalty after he apparently went down with a knee injury following the tackle late during the extra time period.
If Hurrell was putting it on, it was a joke that could have cost the Sharks dearly, so critical is Maloney to their premiership aspirations. But the 2013 Sydney Roosters title winner wasn’t upset.
“It was all a bit of gamesmanship, there are no dramas there at all,” Maloney said.
“I played with Konrad and we got on very well, there is no hard feelings about this at all.
“He was going to give evidence but we didn’t need it.”
It follows up on more ‘gamesmanship’ between the two sides after Sharks skipper Wade Graham cheated during the coin toss ahead of the extra time period.
Maloney is now free to play Canberra in a top four encounter at Shark Park on Saturday, after the Sharks winning streak was halted at 15 by the draw with the Titans.
“It doesn’t change anything for us, we never really bought into any talk about the streak,” Maloney said.
“Canberra have been strong. Their attack is right on song so we will have to be good defensively.”