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May 11, 2021

NRL star breaks down after dad questionKyle Flanagan composes himself in press conference.

Filed under: Outdoors — admin @ 5:53 am

Bulldogs star Kyle Flanagan has broken down during his press conference on Tuesday after being publicly humiliated when his club hooked him from the field.

Flanagan bravely fronted up to face media on Tuesday just two days after he was dragged from the field as the club’s halfback at half time in the Bulldogs’ 32-12 loss to the Dragons.

Flanagan returned later in the game but only because of an injury to speedster Corey Allan.

The 22-year-old calmly answered questions about being benched before being asked about what advice his father — former Sharks coach Shane Flanagan — has given him since the demotion.

“He’s been…” Flanagan said as his words began to trail off.

The halfback looked to the ground for five seconds before composing himself and saying: “He’s been a major part of my career and having him at home is pretty special.

“Sometimes he takes his footy hat off and gives me advice as a son, it’s always good going home to him.

“I am [heartbroken], I think what’s happened the last two years, I want to prove to people that I’m a good footy player. I’ve obviously got a footy family and as you mention the old man and the family, I’m quite a family-driven person, I just want to make them proud.”

He said earlier in the press conference the benching has only made him hungrier.

“I’m obviously disappointed, no halfback likes to come off when the game is in the balance.

“It’s a team sport and this club needs to win games, I’m disappointed.

“We’re not creating as much in attack. Where we are giving them the ball is crucial to us and if you give good teams possession they are going to put points on you.

“It’s tough and disappointing. It’s not [nice to be hooked], I’ve got to look at it in the right way. I wasn’t happy about it, but this team needs to win footy games. That’s how I looked at it.”

Coach Trent Barrett said after the game he was disappointed with how his team executed plays at the end of their sets — putting Flanagan under the pump for his failure to create scores with the team’s final play options.

However, rugby league great Michael Ennis on Sunday revealed it was not fair to put the blame at Flanagan’s feet.

“I feel for Kyle, he’s not getting a lot of help from nine,” he said of Bulldogs No. 9 Jake Averillo.

“They haven’t had a spark there and they haven’t had that for a long time, the Bulldogs.”

It comes after NRL great Brett Kimmorley on Monday said Flanagan must now re-invent himself as a five-eighth — ahead of the arrival of Panthers star Matt Burton next year.

Kimmorley, one of the best halfbacks ever seen in the NRL, predicts Burton will step into Flanagan’s No. 7 jumper, leaving Flanagan to either prove himself as a five-eigth – or face the possibility of not getting selected.

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