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Cronulla Upset With Peachey
The Cronulla camp was both miffed and angered on Thursday at more talk of classy fullback David Peachey leaving the National Rugby League club next season.
A report in Thursday's Illawarra Mercury newspaper linked Peachey to Manly, saying the Sea Eagles were waiting in the wings if speculation was right and the Sharks released the 29-year-old from the final season of his contract.
The report reignited rumours that had lingered earlier in the year that Peachey, one of the Sharks' favourite sons and former captain, wouldn't be seen on Toyota Park beyond 2003.
Peachey, a 10-season veteran at Cronulla, was dumbfounded to hear of the latest episode in the ongoing saga.
"I couldn't be happier (at Cronulla). I thought I put a squash to those rumours earlier in the year," he said.
A seething Cronulla general manager Steve Rogers said "there is not one iota of truth in those rumours".
"I'd wring the neck of the person who started them if I could get my hands on them," Rogers said.
Rogers described Peachey as a Sharks legend and refused to comment on any possible backlash the club might feel if it let the genial fullback go.
"I don't want to even talk about possible repercussions because it's just not going to happen," he said.
"He had a disappointing game last Friday night, which might have cost him a NSW jumper, but we're very happy with David.
"He's not going anywhere."
That said, Peachey aimed to continue trying to lift Cronulla into the top eight, starting with victory over the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday, and atoning for his forgettable performance in the Sharks' 20-14 loss to Canberra last Friday night.
"It's one we should have won. And, as the video shows, I take a lot of responsibility for the loss," he said.
"There'd no better way to make up for it than go over there and beat the Warriors."
Peachey said he also hadn't given up hope of forcing his way into the NSW team after Sydney Rooster Anthony Minichiello beat him for the fullback spot for State of Origin I against Queensland on Wednesday night.
"As a member of the 33-man squad picked earlier in the year, you've just got to go out there and play good football and go from there," he said.
"I thought if the City-Country game was an Origin trial, I might have been a chance.
"You don't wish any bad luck on anyone, but it's all about playing for NSW."