Sharks coach fumes over Fifita police distraction
CRONULLA'S Andrew Fifita will have put a run-in with police behind him when the Sharks battle Melbourne for the minor premiership tomorrow night.
New South Wales police handed the prop a consorting warning about who he mixes with after Fifita visited a mate in prison.
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan said the Fifita controversy had been a distraction both for himself and the club.
"I haven't slept for two days but it's not about me, it's about the team and about these other issues that are really important," Flanagan said.
"I'm terribly disappointed in the whole situation. But my job as coach is that I have to get this team ready to play a game.
"I can't let it get away from the fact that we've got a big game on Saturday and we're playing the Storm down there for the minor premiership."
The Sharks released a statement that there had been no allegations of unlawful behaviour levelled against the 27-year-old.
In the same statement Fifita apologised and said he and the Sharks were aligned to the police and the NRL's wish to protect the game from criminal influences.
Flanagan confirmed Fifita would play against the Storm and maintained his focus remains on the Sharks clinching the minor premiership in Melbourne.
The Sharks ended what had been a winless month last weekend with a 37-12 win over the Roosters and Flanagan said it was business as usual for his side.
"There's a bit of distraction obviously with the media but some of them are pretty hardened to that," Flanagan said.
"We're really looking forward to the game. I'm disappointed, the club's disappointed with what's happened. But we need to deal with it.
"The players are really looking forward to going down and playing the Storm, one of the best teams in the competition."