'Tough to see': Fan fury over NRL veteran's post-match move

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Cronulla Sharks centre and former Melbourne Storm star Will Chambers ruffled some feathers after posing with former teammates following a 40-16 drubbing. Picture: NRL/Twitter
Cronulla Sharks centre and former Melbourne Storm star Will Chambers ruffled some feathers after posing with former teammates following a 40-16 drubbing. Picture: NRL/Twitter

Cronulla Sharks fans were already smarting from the 40-16 drubbing the Melbourne Storm dished out on Friday night - so seeing one of their own pose with the winning side was the last thing they wanted to see.

The Storm had all the answers for Cronulla in a one-sided affair, but salt was rubbed into the wound for fans when former Melbourne star Will Chambers posed for a photo with his former teammates.

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The image was shared on social media by the NRL, but while Sharks fans could appreciate the sporting aspect of the move, many felt it wasn't a good look for Chambers.

The 32-year-old centre had a 'hot and cold' game as described by Sharks coach Josh Hannay, while fans weren't particularly pleased with him fraternising among the team's conquerers.

"Ooft. Tough to see that after getting belted last night," one fan replied on Twitter.

"The way he played you would think he had a purple jersey on," wrote another.

Once an antagonist of Sharks fans during his highly successful tenure with the Storm, Chambers admitted during the week that it felt 'strange' to be playing against his former club.

He was brought into the side to replace the injured Josh Dugan.

"It is a bit of a weird one. All my family's still down in Melbourne. I had some tears in my eyes yesterday," Chambers said on Wednesday.

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"Obviously it was a bit of a surprise. To be honest, I thought footy was all over a couple of months ago.

"It's all come along pretty quickly.

"I was sort of in no-man's land and didn't really know what was going to happen and where I was going in the next stage of my life.

"Then all of a sudden I got a phone call and that was Cronulla and the nerves sunk in and I thought 'geez, what a place to turn up at'.

"But obviously thinking back over it, everything in life happens for a reason and now I get the opportunity to pull on the jersey this weekend and provide and hopefully do something special for this organisation."

Chambers hadn't played an NRL match since Melbourne's 2019 preliminary final loss to the Sydney Roosters 19 months ago.

Sharks struggle for consistent NRL showing

Cronulla dominated a poor Storm outfit in the first half at AAMI Park on Friday night and were unlucky to only lead by two points.

But with the home side crossing for seven second-half tries, Cronulla's inability to put together an 80-minute performance has left them with just two wins for the season.

"The reality is that we're a 40 to 50-minute football team at the moment, whether it's first half or second," Hannay said.

"This week our start was strong and last week it was poor but our back end was really strong and that's something we talk about and it's frustrating for everyone.

"First half there's a top-eight football team out there and second half there's a bottom half; the difference between our good and bad is enormous."

Shaun Johnson and Will Chambers look towards the scoreboard during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Shaun Johnson and Will Chambers look towards the scoreboard during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Hannay, who is in the hot-seat until Craig Fitzgibbon takes over next season, said the team struggled to stay composed when things didn't go their way.

"When that intercept pass got thrown in the second half and they scored, I've got no doubt there's a little bit of 'oh no here we go again' and heads drop.

"Good footy sides smell the blood in the water and they went after us.

"We're looking for a bit of luck to get things going our way again but sometimes you've got to bite down on the mouth guard and work hard to get back in the contest."

The Sharks are hopeful Wade Graham will be available to face Penrith next round after their skipper passed a HIA late in the game, although given the timing and scoreline he had an early shower.

With AAP

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