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Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon fears Dale Finucane's suspension may set a dangerous precedent for all players, but has told the Sharks they must move on for the sake of their own NRL title hopes.
The Sharks will be without Finucane for the next two matches after he was found guilty of dangerous contact by the NRL judiciary, following a sickening head clash with Stephen Crichton.
Both the Sharks and Finucane were adamant the contact was accidental, with even Penrith players noting there was never any question of intent.
Finucane claimed on Tuesday night he was worried the decision would set a dangerous precedent for defenders, particularly those who come out of the line to apply pressure on ball carriers.
Fitzgibbon further pushed that case on Friday by labelling the decision "disappointing," but insisted Cronulla must find a way to move on ahead of their blockbuster against South Sydney on Saturday.
"Yeah I do (agree with Dale)," Fitzgibbon said.
"But there is no point going over it now. The decision gets taken away from you and we just have to move on with things.
"It's disappointing. Really disappointing for not only Dale but the team. But it is what it is, we have to move on.
"Cam McInnes comes into the team. We trust Cam and everyone loves playing alongside him, but it's disappointing."
Fitzgibbon is well aware of how crucial Saturday's game is for both Cronulla and South Sydney's seasons.
The Sharks remain third and were on a five-match hot streak before last week's defeat to the Panthers.
Fitzgibbon's men also have the most favourable run home of any top-four hopefuls, with matches against St George Illawarra, Wests Tigers, Manly, Canterbury and Newcastle to follow.
In contrast, the Rabbitohs are just one win behind in sixth but could leapfrog Cronulla with a big win, such is the tightness of the competition.
"It's impossible to ignore the positions on the ladder," Fitzgibbon said.
"But we do still feel like there is a bit of time left. It's not like this is the week before the semi-finals and we need to get it done.
"We just need to work on consistency and parts of our game to make sure we piece it all together at the right time."
Souths' run home is far more difficult with five other top-eight teams in their way. They are on fire in attack but have also leaked 80 points across their four straight wins.
And the Rabbitohs have won just one of their past seven in Cronulla.
"Our record isn't great there," coach Jason Demetriou said on Friday.
"But, as we said last week when we played Melbourne, this team is writing their own history this year."