By STEVE MASCORD
CRONULLA hero John Morris says he hopes the Sharks’ campaign is not remembered by the misdemeanour which led to captain Paul Gallen’s late try against Manly being disallowed.
Hooker Morris – the man who chased Kane Linnett to save the day in the controversial elimination final win over North Queensland – found himself tangled up with defender Matt Ballin while in an offside position as Gallen steamed over on Friday night.
Video referees detected the illegality and chalked off a try that, with a conversion, would have tied the contest and probably sent it into overtime.
“I’m not sure who called it, I didn’t even think they’d go back to it,” Morris tells League Week.
“I pushed through on the play before, because (Sam) Tagataese made a half-break and I was in support.
“Then he got a quick play-the-ball and at the time there was no-one at dummy-half. I went to accelerate to get to dummy half and I realised I probably couldn’t get there.
“Just at that split-second, Gal’s picked it up and unfortunately I made a tiny bit of contact with Matt Ballin.
“That’s the obstruction rule. Some go with you, some go against you.
“It was a crucial part of the game but hopefully that’s not talked about as what cost us. It was a good effort by the boys to be in there at the end.”
Morris said he’d rather focus on what a great year it was for a team that was constantly under the glare of the ASADA investigation
“Obviously the video referee’s try at the end there is going to stand out but I don’t think we’ve got any hard feelings. We just roll with the punches. That’s footy,” he said
“There was definitely not much in it, as the score indicated. They sort of jumped away to a lead and we pulled them back there at the end. There were a couple of decisions.
“I’ll just remember the camaraderie that’s come out of this place and the tightness of the group, the resilience of the group. This is a really strong club. It always bounces back when there’s a bit of adversity around the place.
“Flanno’s done an awesome job. Steve Noyce has come in and done a great job and everyone’s just focused on footy. We’ve had a really professional approach to the year and it’s a credit to everyone that we’re here and just fell short of a grand final qualifier.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK