‘He was on the sideline’: Proof Fifita’s spray story doesn’t add up
PROOF has been uncovered to suggest Cronulla's party line about Andrew Fifita abusing assistant coach Jim Dymock during Saturday's win over the Cowboys doesn't add up.
Fifita himself and head coach Shane Flanagan both said the prop's epic blow-up directed at the coaches box after scoring a try was aimed at Dymock, who had supposedly angered the big prop at half-time by telling him to run the ball harder.
Sharks media manager Rob Willis was spotted urgently speaking to Fifita immediately after full-time, before the latter was interviewed by Fox League where the Dymock line was first given.
It's now been confirmed Fifita was actually aiming his aggressive spray at Flanagan.
It's believed he was angry about being benched midway through the first half, and not brought on again until well after half-time.
Former rugby league firebrand Steve Roach explained Dymock wasn't anywhere near the coaches box when Fifita pointed to it.
"Of course it was aimed at the coach," The former Tigers, NSW and Australian front-rower said on Sunday.
"Jim Dymock was on the sideline. (Fifita) was pointing up into the stands.
"I'll tell you why he didn't publicly say it, because the media manager got to him before he did his interview and was told what to say."
Fifita's very public blow-up has divided opinion in rugby league, with a large faction of people damning his actions.
Sharks teammate Luke Lewis is among those people who believe Fifita was in the wrong.
But senior News Corp reporter Phil Rothfield believes Flanagan's plan all along was to make Fifita angry and fire up his wrecking-ball forward.
"Flanagan brought him off earlier than he normally would, he got hooked," Rothfield said.
"And the coach decided to keep him off for longer than he normally would to make (Fifita) angry. It was a coaching tactic and it worked.
"He's a different dude. We know that about Andrew Fifita.
"When he had the responsibility of the captaincy earlier in the year he was on fire, but sometimes he cannot stick to a game plan."