Cronulla Sharks Want A Reduced Fine Now That Flanagan Has Apologised

"I'm sorry for the way I reacted"

Cronulla Sharks Want A Reduced Fine Now That Flanagan Has Apologised Cronulla Sharks

Cronulla will attempt to have their $30,000 fine from the NRL reduced after coach Shane Flanagan apologised for his scathing criticism of match officials.

Both the Sharks and Manly are due to submit their responses to the league by Tuesday afternoon, after Flanagan and Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett both blamed officials for their sides week-one departures from the finals.

Flanagan on Monday penned an 1100-word letter to fans on the Sharks' website apologising for the team's early exit, before he admitted he had erred in his treatment of referees.

"I owe you an apology. I owe the game an apology. I'm sorry for the way I reacted," Flanagan wrote to fans.

"My answers in that press conference were born (sic) out of honesty and the disappointment of a shattered dressing room.

"I took all that emotion into that press conference. I know that doesn't make it right though."

Flanagan's letter comes a week after NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg told the game to "grow up" in a line-in-the-sand speech, which promised fines to both Cronulla and Manly.

It's understood the Sharks have sought legal advice in constructing their response to the breach notice, which they hope will be successful in at least lessening the sanction.

"We'll make a submission that tries to put a bit more context to (what Flanagan said) because he wasn't out to undermine the game," Cronulla CEO Lyall Gorman told AAP.

"Hopefully there's enough goodwill there to have the sanction downgraded."

Whether the NRL takes Flanagan's apology into account when determining considering the Sharks' response remains to be seen.

While the league often takes into account genuine remorse or apologies issued by clubs, the fact it has come eight days after the outburst would also likely be factored into their judgement.

The Sharks' fine was the heftiest in more than a year against a coach after Flanagan also blamed poor crowds on officials as he read a list of perceived referee errors.

He then made similar comments to the Sharks' website the following day.

But in the letter, Flanagan also admitted his side's performance had contributed to the loss to the Cowboys.

"In 2017, we were nowhere near the standard required to be challenging for this year's premiership," he wrote.

"In the end, that's what cruelled us against the Cowboys.

"Our discipline and errors - particularly in possession - wasn't good enough and in the biggest game of the season, we were found wanting."

Meanwhile it's understood Manly are also yet to send through their finalised response to the league over Barrett's comments, for which he was provisionally fined $20,000.

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