Gavin Cooper of the Cowboys is tackled by Sharks players.
Gavin Cooper of the Cowboys is tackled by Sharks players.

‘Dirty tactics’?: Sharks deny trying to injure Cowboys star

AN ANGRY Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has fired back at claims his players employed "dirty tactics" in their round one clash against North Queensland.

On Monday, Cowboys back-rower Gavin Cooper accused the Sharks of trying to twist the knee of Matt Scott, who was returning from an anterior cruciate ligament injury which kept him sidelined for almost the entire 2017 season.

"I just went and watched every single carry of Matt Scott and there's not one bit of evidence to support whatever he is saying," Flanagan said.

"Just show me one. If he's going to say something like that he needs to show me one. You need to make sure you have evidence to back it up if you're saying something like that. Our players would never do that."

Cowboys prop Matthew Scott, left, tackled by Sharks players. Picture: Evan Morgan
Cowboys prop Matthew Scott, left, tackled by Sharks players. Picture: Evan Morgan

Cooper said he was disappointed the referees missed several incidents during the Cowboys' 20-14 win over the Sharks on Saturday - Scott's first game back from the injury.

"I think there was a few little dirty tactics, a couple of guys twisting his leg and stuff like that that the refs missed," he said.

"There was a couple of things I saw that the refs missed.

"(It's) pretty disappointing after what he's been through.

"Hopefully we stamp that out of the game."

Gavin Cooper has taken aim at the Sharks. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Gavin Cooper has taken aim at the Sharks. Picture: Alix Sweeney

After being told Cooper's claims, Scott preferred to leave it on the field.

 

"No, not targeted too much," he said.

"Any time you come back from a long-term injury, you expect to get it tested out a little bit.

"I'll leave that on the field, you can have a look at the video."

Scott ran 94m and made 16 tackles in the season-opening win over the Sharks last Friday night - his first NRL game in almost 12 months after going down in round two last year.

Scott said his knee had pulled up well ahead of Friday night's round two clash with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

"I feel really good, a few aches and pains but nothing unusual - the body pulled through really well," he said.


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