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Gallen stands tall in diving debate

STANDING TALL: Cronulla Sharks skipper Paul Gallen is still facing accusations he dived in his side's match with Wests Tigers.
STANDING TALL: Cronulla Sharks skipper Paul Gallen is still facing accusations he dived in his side's match with Wests Tigers. PAUL MILLER

CRONULLA captain Paul Gallen has faced accusations of diving to win a penalty during his side's 22-16 victory over Wests Tigers on Saturday night, and the heat is still on four days later.

The Bunker denied Tigers fullback James Tedesco a four-pointer in the first half after Wests captain Aaron Woods was ruled to have pulled on Gallen's jumper and taken out the Sharks veteran.

Officials decided the hole that Tedesco fired through next to the ruck was created when Gallen fell to the ground as a result of Woods' tug on his jersey. While there's no doubt the space for Tedesco to cross was created when Gallen was pulled down, Tigers coach Ivan Cleary said the former NSW skipper was guilty of theatrics and playing for a penalty.

"Our game is different to other football codes - one in particular. We don't condone diving," Cleary said after the game. "But we did tonight. I'll leave it at that."

Gallen says he did nothing wrong and was forced to defend himself once more on breakfast radio.

On Big Sports Breakfast, hosts Michael Slater and Terry Kennedy grilled the 35-year-old for four minutes, wanting him to admit to taking a dive.

But time and time again Gallen maintained he was in the right.

"Flogging a bit of a dead horse here unfortunately for Wests Tigers, Ivan Cleary and everyone else who wants to buy into it. It's a penalty every day of the week and that's the way it is - you can't interfere with a defender," he said.

"if I don't fall over there the referees may not see it and all of a sudden I'm in a foot race with James Tedesco and as fast as I am there's only ever going to be one winner there. That's just the way it is.

"There was no reason for Woodsy to grab me so I think Tigers fans and everyone else should be looking at their own backyard and fixing up that issue there.

"I'm not letting a team score a try because their player performed an illegal act. That's just the way it is.

"They did the wrong thing, not me. That's the guts of it all. People can make as many excuses up as they want.

"If they (the Tigers) stop making excuses up they might not be where they are on the ladder."

Topics:  cronulla sharks diving nrl paul gallen rugby league sport

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