NRL temperature scare can't stop Sharks

Ed Jackson
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NRL COWBOYS SHARKS

Matt Moylan was among Cronulla players who initially failed a COVID-19 temperature check

Cronulla coach John Morris isn't sure what would have happened had six of his players been ruled out of Saturday's NRL clash against North Queensland.

The group of Sharks players, including halves pairing Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan as well as prop Aaron Woods, all recorded temperatures above the threshold imposed as part of the league's biosecurity regulations.

Under the criteria, players must record a temperature under 37.2C to be cleared to play upon arrival at the stadium.

Morris compared the scene at Queensland Country Bank Stadium to a nightclub where people are being refused entry as player after player recorded above the threshold.

A secondary test later cleared all six players, with the Sharks going on to post a 26-16 win over the Cowboys.

With a squad of only 20 players travelling to Townsville, Morris admits he didn't have a backup plan if all six of the players hadn't passed the test.

"I honestly don't know what the game would do if there was five or six, like we were today, if they were still over," he said.

"It may have had something to do with the testing device, I think they may have changed the device and the reading's come down ... I'm not quite sure but they all passed and they were all in and it didn't really affect us too much other than that 10 or 15 minute period."

It's not the first time the temperature regulations have disrupted a team's pre-game preparation since the league resumed following the COVID-19 shutdown.

Brisbane halfback Brodie Croft had to pass a secondary test before last week's clash with Parramatta while Sydney Roosters had a similar drama before their clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.

Brett Morris, Kyle Flanagan and Joey Manu all failed their first tests upon arriving at the stadium before passing a secondary test to get the all-clear to play.

Superstar fullback James Tedesco didn't even make the trip to Brisbane after waking with a high temperature, with Roosters officials deciding to leave him in Sydney.