The Sharks have had five players involved in the 2017 State of Origin Series and although James Maloney missed Saturday night’s loss, the other four players backed up in various emotional states.Valentine Holmes was riding the high of Queensland’s win but rotated with Gerard Beale between wing and fullback, Andrew Fifita’s Origin heartbreak was offset by the birth of his third child and Jack Bird and Wade Graham carried the burden of the Blues’ defeat into the clash with the Titans.But rather than blame any Origin hangover for the loss Flanagan insists it is on the training paddock where Origin has had its greatest impact on the Sharks, demanding his players now put that to the side and finish the regular season strongly.After dropping their Round 16 game to the Sea Eagles the Sharks appeared to have turned a corner with a 44-12 dismantling of the Roosters a week later but Flanagan said that only served to prove how good they can be with the right preparation.”What I was pleased about for the Roosters was I had my top squad to train for a week,” Flanagan said post game.”All sides are doing it and who handles it the best gets through the Origin period but there’s three Origin camps, 10 days of camp, we’re missing five players for 30 days of the past six weeks.”It’s not great for a footy team to train like that and we’re over that now so there’s no more excuses.”We’ve just got to put our head down, work really hard and get some results on the way home.”We can set sail for home now but we’ve got a lot of work to do. Nothing’s a given in this competition.”We’re not in the top four. We’ve done okay but we need to re-focus now, which we will.”Not part of a New South Wales Origin campaign for the first time since 2016, Sharks skipper Paul Gallen was a little more forgiving for how his side had managed the Origin period.Prior to Saturday night Cronulla had won three of their five games since the Origin players went into camp for Game One but Gallen acknowledged the disruption that comes with having such a strong representation across both teams.”To have five in it is huge and to train without your five best players for 30 days out of the past six weeks is very distracting,” said Gallen.”Thankfully it’s over. I think we’ve handled it okay but we’ve got no excuses anymore from next week. We’ve got to start stepping it up.”We’ve probably won more than 50 per cent of our games throughout the last six weeks so I think we’ve handled it okay for our biggest representation probably ever.”Gallen admitted that after such a comprehensive win against the Roosters that he was somewhat mystified as to why they fell so short against the Titans, refusing to blame the atrocious conditions for their display.”The Titans just wanted it a bit more than us tonight,” he said.”We weren’t good. They always seem to lift against us. It’s a pretty disappointing result for us considering how well we played last week and how well we completed.”To complete the way we did tonight and leak that amount of points, it’s not real good.”
PACOIMA – A Simi Valley man whose wife was killed in the tragic Glendale Metrolink crash more than two and a half years ago died Wednesday morning when a car plowed into his motorcycle, authorities said. Paul Bennett, 46, of Simi Valley, was on his way to work at 6:45 a.m. when he was hit from the rear by a 2007 Honda CRV. Bennett was stopped at Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Gager Street, said Jason Lee, Los Angeles Police Department spokesman. The driver of the car, Michael Mcarthy, 47, of Northridge, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and could face felony manslaughter charges, Lee said. Bennett was taken to a local hospital, where he died. His wife, Julia Bennett, who worked as a typist for the Los Angeles Fire Department, was killed on Jan. 26, 2005, after Juan Manuel Alvarez drove his Jeep Grand Cherokee onto the Metrolink train tracks, causing a train wreck in which Bennett and 10 others died. LAFD Deputy Chief Jimmy Hill, commander of the Fire Prevention and Public Safety Bureau, worked with Julia Bennett and knew her father, former LAFD Battalion Chief Ray Gordon. After her tragic death, Hill got to know Paul Bennett better. Hill was stunned when he heard of Bennett’s death Wednesday. “I am just devastated that we have lost him,” Hill said. “Once again, tragedy has struck this family.” Hill said what makes both deaths so hard to understand is that – if the allegations against Mcarthy prove to be true – they both could have been avoided. “That just adds to the gravity of the situation. … Once again someone innocent has been stricken down,” Hill said. On Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office sent crisis counselors to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works North Hollywood location, where Bennett, popular with co-workers, was employed as a truck driver and dispatch supervisor. The LAFD planned to send more counselors today. Bennett’s co-workers described the muscular man, with a fondness for motorcycles, as a good guy who’d go the extra mile to get a job done. After a recent rainstorm, mud slid onto Forest Lawn Drive, and Bennett took it on himself to haul out 25 truckloads of mud, co-workers said. Dave Ronge of Palmdale was Bennett’s supervisor. He played with Bennett and other co-workers on a championship softball team a few years back. In their off-hours, Bennett and others would often go on motorcycle rides together. “A lot of people liked Paul,” Ronge said. “They’re going to miss him. It was more than a work relationship.” Ronge said Bennett was hoping to sell the blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was riding when he was hit. A picture of it with a “for sale” sign is posted at the Public Works North Hollywood site. email@example.com (818) 713-3329160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!