Six Cronulla Sharks players failed their initial temperature tests on Saturday, but Wade Graham pondered whether they were stitched up.
Six Cronulla Sharks players failed their initial temperature tests on Saturday, but Wade Graham pondered whether they were stitched up.

NRL captain’s cheeky ‘stitch-up’ theory

Cronulla Sharks captain Wade Graham has floated a bizarre conspiracy theory about the cause of six failed temperature tests before the Saturday's match against the North Queensland Cowboys.

Before the round four clash in Townsville, six Sharks players failed their initial biosecurity tests, recording temperatures above 37.2 degrees.

However, they all eventually passed the test and were cleared to play, but the incident raised questions about what would happen if a team was unable to field 13 players.

Three Sydney Roosters players also failed their first temperature test before Thursday's game against the Brisbane Broncos.

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Graham speculated whether the Cowboys staff might have cranked the heat up in a bit of lighthearted banter with Fox League.

"We arrived probably an hour before we had to go down into the sheds and we got put up into this top room, and there might have been a little bit of a stitch-up by the staff of the Cowboys bumping up that heater in the top room," Graham said.

"I certainly felt a little bit hot as I was walking down the stairs coming into the sheds.

"But it was fine, I think it's just one of those things, and luckily we got all our boys on deck and we were able to run out."

Shaun Johnson and Briton Nikora celebrate following their victory over the North Queensland Cowboys.
Shaun Johnson and Briton Nikora celebrate following their victory over the North Queensland Cowboys.

On Saturday, Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner blamed bulky headphones and beanies for failed temperature tests.

The Sharks went on to record their first victory of the 2020 season, securing a 26-16 win over the Cowboys.

Centre Jesse Ramien, the player of the match, and winger Ronaldo Mulitano scored doubles for the Sharks with Briton Nikora also notching a four-pointer for the visitors.

Kyle Feldt grabbed a double of his own for the Cowboys, including a 75m breakaway effort in the second half, with Justin O'Neill the other try scorer for the home team.

Both teams also had tries denied by the bunker, with Ramien having an effort scratched just before halftime as well as Marsters' disallowed try.

"It wasn't pretty, but a win's a win for us at this point of our season," Sharks coach John Morris said.

"I'm just real proud of the boys that they kept their nose in front and a really good commitment in defence.

"They worked real hard for each other and took away a valuable two points for our season."

- With AAP

 

Originally published as NRL captain's cheeky 'stitch-up' theory


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