Cronulla Sharks fullback Will Kennedy faces a nervous wait after being sent off for a “coathanger” tackle on Warriors young gun Reece Walsh.
The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the Sharks’ remarkable 29-10 win against the Warriors at PointsBet Stadium, when Kennedy stuck out his left arm in a bid to stop Walsh after being wrong-footed due to a vicious sidestep from the 19-year-old.
Despite Walsh getting back up onto his feet immediately after the tackle, Kennedy was given his marching orders by referee Todd Smith, much to the shock of veteran teammate Dale Finucane, who remonstrated with Smith after he made the call.
READ MORE: NRL probes Eels trainer over controversial act
READ MORE: Cleary backs disgraced ex-Panther for NRL return
READ MORE: Golf in shock as Aussie blows lead in ‘painful’ scenes
“That’s the old coathanger,” league great Phil Gould said on Nine’s NRL coverage.
“It’s not his go, but he’s been wrong-footed and he’s thrown the arm out.
“That is an old-fashioned coathanger. You don’t see many of those anymore.
Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now
“It’s not a swinging arm, he sort of grabs at him (Walsh). It’s pretty violent at first look, isn’t it?
“(The send-off) is a direct reaction to what we’ve seen in previous weeks, that decision.”
After the Warriors scored two tries in four minutes following Kennedy’s sending off, the Sharks replied with four consecutive tries to seal the match, despite being a man short for the final 63 minutes of the contest.
Craig Fitzgibbon’s side even went down two men for a 10-minute period in the second half when Jesse Ramien was sent to the sin bin for a high hit on Euan Aitken.
Following the match, Sharks skipper Wade Graham said he and his teammates would support Kennedy despite his sending off.
“It’s never a nice feeling when you’re sent off, you feel like you let everyone down, but we’ll get around him,” he said.
NRL Highlights: Sharks v Warriors – Round 9
“He’ll be fine, he’ll bounce back. On a positive note, the team rallied and we got the result despite that, so he can keep his head up and move onto next week when we get him back.”
Added Fitzgibbon: “He was obviously sheepish and a little bit disappointed, but he’s proud of the guys. He got around the boys and the boys got around him.
“It’s really hard in the box – we’ve got an eagle cam review so I need to have a real good look at it, his and Jesse’s, I’m not sure how bad they are.”
The win allowed the Sharks to retain their spot in the top four, with the team tied on points with the fifth-placed Eels. The Warriors fell to a 4-5 record and sit in 10th position on the NRL ladder.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!