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NRL expected to enforce a few more rules in operations manual after Stuart’s spray


Ricky shouldn’t have said that. Everyone knows Ricky shouldn’t have said that. Hell, even Ricky knows he shouldn’t have said that.

He released a statement on Sunday to say he regretted “what I did on this platform after the game. I was speaking as a father and not as a football manager”.

What he’s referring to is calling the Panthers’ five-eighth Jaemon Salmon a “weak, gutted dog.”

“My reaction was to a family situation that I thought I had sorted out, obviously I didn’t. I allowed my emotions to get the better of me and for that I’m so sorry,’ he said in Sunday’s statement after Saturday night’s spray.

“There is a story between Jaeman Salmon and my family that I won’t go into. I shouldn’t have spoken about it after the game, but it got the better of me. I’m so sorry for causing my family and gambling unwarranted attention.

But why did he say it? Because he was upset and couldn’t help it. Obviously.

(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Not only has his team just been overtaken by a side missing three of their best players, but they are now in danger of missing the final for the second year in a row.

To top it off, he saw an opponent go wild and kick one of his players in the genitals. It turns out that this player and Stuart have a nasty history.

We all hear versions of what happened in Sutherland County over a decade ago, no doubt infected with a mixture of hearsay. Although it all sounds pretty gruesome, there are very few people who will know the precise story.

As Stuart has now acknowledged with his apology, this story really shouldn’t have gone into it.

As a coach, Stuart is known for his fairly outspoken statements.

So why on earth would he face the press when he was carrying this kind of emotional baggage and was so in danger of exploding?

Because it had to. Do you really think he would have been in front of the cameras to say it if he wasn’t meant to be there?

It’s pretty clear that the last thing a manager – not just Stuart – wants to do after his team is beaten is hold a press conference.

However, the NRL’s operations manual states that before and after the game they must face the broadcaster’s cameras.

It doesn’t matter if they are really upset or angry.

NRL expected to enforce a few more rules in operations manual after Stuart's spray

(Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

It doesn’t matter if their side has just been whipped and they’re about to be sacked.

It doesn’t matter if their team was simply robbed of victory by a blatant failure on the part of the officials.

They have to go and they have to talk. If they don’t, they get fined. And the fines are significant. So Ricky had to leave.

Broadcasters love drama in press conferences. They want the coaches gone. They don’t mind at all if the coach imposes a huge fine for criticizing the referees or calling an opponent.

It attracts viewers. It generates newspaper columns, online clicks, and massive engagement on social media platforms.

In an ever-shrinking industry, media bosses don’t make money poking fun at the coaches, players or clubs involved. They need viewers and clicks in their relentless quest for ad revenue.

In personal experience, the media loves people who can be counted on to cause outrage and consternation. They love the Arthur Tunstalls, Anthony Mundines and the like. They would ask them questions far beyond each other’s expertise – like Tunstall her take on Cathy Freeman carrying the Aboriginal flag and Mundine her thoughts on 9/11 – and then they would wait for clicks, comments and purchases. outraged to roll inevitably.

It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, as evidenced by the newspapers, radios and televisions loaded with personalities whose primary role is apparently to provoke outrage and division.

It is in this media reality that the mandates of NRL coaches must face the cameras, often following events that they will have found very upsetting.

Somehow, bettors have gotten it into their heads that not only does a coach have to be great at recruiting, leadership and strategy, but they also have to be an accomplished media performer.

The truth is that most have little to no idea about the media beyond the basic training the club gives them before they are thrown in front of the microphones. Yet they are expected to behave like media veterans.

This expectation is ridiculous. Club CEOs keep their fingers crossed and pray before every post-match presser that their boy doesn’t leave half armed.

Meanwhile, the media wants the exact opposite.

Adam O’Brien

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

While Newcastle manager Adam O’Brien’s recent comments regarding his credentials have certainly been welcomed, Stuart is currently the manager most likely to provide the media with the best content. Smart coaches like the Wayne Bennetts of this world don’t give anything to the press when the cameras are rolling, but some coaches have a much harder time holding themselves back.

Don’t get me wrong, the media loves that Stuart is gone. In my life, he is the most controversial coach I can think of.

If you love it – like me – you love it completely, warts and all. If you hate him – as many of you do – you hate him with a passion and intensity usually reserved for a lover who has abandoned you.

And here is the key word: passion.

Whatever you think of Richard John Stuart AM, no one would dare claim he wasn’t passionate.

And even if it is this passion that has driven him to lead a football club from the lowest ebb in its history to a Grand Final appearance in just five years, it is also this passion that drives him to let go of a little verbally on occasion.

The media are aware of this risk. The NRL is aware of this risk. His club is aware of this risk. Hell, HE is aware of this risk.

But, whatever the risk, the NRL’s operations manual says he must turn up at the post-match press conference and speak.

However, you should also consider that the NRL Operations Manual also states: “At all times, coaches must enter and leave the pitch as quickly as possible (i.e. running) without interfering with the game.”

Although many coaches – including Stuart – have been fined for not speaking at post-match press conferences, I can’t think of a single case where a coach has been fined for not leaving the pitch as quickly as possible.

In fact, Roosters coach Travis Touma was not fined or sanctioned for interfering with play in the 2019 Grand Final.

So one could argue that the NRL essentially picks and chooses which rules they will apply, and the example above shows that one could argue that the choice might have more to do with what their broadcast partners want after the match and not with things that actually impact the game play itself.

Plus, you have to wonder how many workplaces would insist that their employees – or those at their request – face the press when there’s a high likelihood they won’t be able to contain their emotions. and rush on the rocks?

This would be considered a lack of care in almost any business.

Each bear must submit to post-game media commentary. And then, unsurprisingly, the bears sometimes go wild.

And then it becomes history on TV, in print and on social media.

And then the fans in the stands, on their sofas and behind their keyboards scream in outrage and demand that the bear be punished severely.

And then the same NRL HQ who ordered all the bears to get stung after the game, fine and punish the bear.

And the bear is then in shame. What a transparent and pathetic joke. Leave those fucking bears alone.

It’s bad enough when the team you put your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into is beaten. It’s even harder when these former rugby league players then have to contend with a predatory and empathetic media.

Or if you insist on this arrangement, Messrs. V’landys, Abdo and Annesley, then apply with equal vigor the other rules of your almighty Manual of Operations.

You know, the ones that actually affect the game and not just the ones that treat it like a salable entertainment product.




Sports Grp2

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