The Cronulla Sharks must be wondering what they have to do to get recognised in rugby league’s halls of power.
New ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie was last night unable to name the Cronulla NRL side in an interview with commentator Phil Gould.
It was reminiscent of an infamous incident in which Beattie’s predecessor John Grant misnamed the “Cronulla Hawks” during a Kangaroos team announcement.
Peter Beattie tweet: This was me Saturday night with the Sharks’ coach. Yes I stuffed up the answer; just nervous in front of the great Phil Gould. Yeah I’m human. I had a mental blank. The price of doing the NRL & the Commonwealth Games at the same time !! Thanks Gus for having me on the show.
Beattie, a former Queensland premier and self-described lifelong rugby league fan, apologised for the gaffe, putting it down to a case of nerves.
It will no doubt lead to some awkward moments for Beattie, who replaced Grant last month and is trying to win support among the clubs to make changes to the ARLC board.
Beattie subsequently laughed off last night’s incident as a case of not getting Gould’s joke and pointed out he went into the Sharks’ dressing sheds following Friday’s loss to North Queensland in Townsville.
Like Grant, Beattie appeared unable to identify the NRL side that plays out of the Sutherland Shire.
In 2014, Grant misnamed the “Cronulla Hawks” and “Manly Seagulls” during a Kangaroos team announcement.
“Before you’re officially welcomed, you’ve got to answer one question,” Gould said.
“The team that plays out of the Sutherland Shire — is it the Cronulla Hawks, the Cronulla Seagulls or the Cronulla Sharks?”
In an embarrassing faux pas, Beattie stumbled over his answer and seemed unable to name the 2016 premiers.
“I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have a bloody clue but I’ll know next week,” Beattie said.
“It’s got to be Cronulla of some kind.
“It’s too bloody hard Gus, that’s too difficult.”
When given a chance to clarify his response and pressed on whether he knew more than Grant, Beattie again fumbled his response.
“I’m aiming to be better but I’d never pretend to know what I don’t know,” Beattie said.
“Tell you what, you can take me down there one day and shout me lunch, you can educate me.”
The episode has not been the first shark encounter for Mr Beattie, who famously dived with the animals as a publicity stunt when he was seeking re-election as premier in the 2001 campaign.