Stuart banned from game, fined $25,000 by NRL for ‘gutting weak dog’ rant


The NRL has harshly criticized Canberra manager Ricky Stuart for his ‘weak dog’ rant, fining him $25,000 and suspending him from Sunday’s Round 22 clash with the Dragons and all training activities until next Wednesday.

Stuart is now the first manager in PM history to be suspended for a post-match press conference tirade.

Numerous coaches have been fined five figures over the past decades for unacceptable comments when facing the media, including Stuart, who has multiple offenses on his record.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said Stuart could not provide any instructions or guidance to the team, players or club officials during the period of suspension.

“Leaders have to set the standard in the game,” Abdo said.

“These are important steps that we have taken. We took them because it’s totally unacceptable for anyone in the game to use language like the one Ricky used on Saturday.

“It is unacceptable, regardless of the context or the circumstances, or any matter of a private nature or any context that may have arisen.

“It’s inappropriate and unacceptable for someone to talk like that. And it’s a breach of NRL rules.

Stuart will not be able to communicate remotely, as some coaches have done this year when stuck in COVID-19 isolation and he will not be able to attend practice for seven days after putting the team on hold. the test earlier on Tuesday.

Assistant coaches Brett White and Andrew McFadden will guide the team in the stoush with St George Illawarra.

Raiders manager Ricky Stuart looks on during the NRL Round 21 game against Penrith. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Following his extraordinary spraying on Saturday night when he attacked the reputation of Panthers five-eighth Jaeman Salmon, the NRL’s Integrity Unit has launched an investigation into the incident.

Canberra issued a statement on Tuesday to reiterate that it “acknowledges and accepts the sanction handed down by the NRL today”.

Raiders CEO Don Furner previously said the club “does not condone the comments made by Ricky during Saturday night’s press conference”.

On Tuesday, he told reporters: “It’s very public work and it’s hard work. He’s obviously very disappointed and embarrassed and he’s just going to have to put that behind him and move on and we’ll all support him.

After Salmon kicked his boot at Raiders hooker Tom Starling in Penrith’s 26-6 win on Saturday night, Stuart fumed: “I know this kid well. He was a weak-gut dog when he was a kid and he hasn’t changed now. He’s a weak-stomached dog now.

He tried to put out the flames on Sunday by apologizing: “I regret saying what I did on this platform after the match. I was speaking as a father and not as a football coach.

“My reaction was to a family situation that I thought I had sorted out, obviously I didn’t. I let my emotions get the better of me and I’m so sorry for that. There is a history between Jaeman Salmon and my family that I won’t go into. I shouldn’t have talked about it after the game, but it got the better of me.

“I’m so sorry for causing my family and the game undue attention.”

Despite the coach’s carefully worded apology, the Salmon family released their own statement, calling on the NRL to take action.

Cleary says Salmon will recover from drama

Penrith backed the penalties while saying they were still “disappointed with the original comments made by Stuart on Saturday night, and feel there is no room in the game for such comments”.

Coach Ivan Cleary said Salmon was upset by the post-game comments but was in a better mood at practice Tuesday.

“It was a little shaken overnight,” Cleary said Wednesday. “He was also a bit worried about his family. They were pretty upset, so I guess when that happens, it takes things to another level.

“But this week he seems to be fine… He has shown that he is quite strong in spirit. He is a very popular member of the team on and off the pitch. We like it.”

Stuart is only the second NRL manager after Shane Flanagan to earn a ban, with Flanagan being linked to Cronulla’s ASADA scandal.

It was later discovered that Flanagan breached the terms of his one-year ban by contacting the club at the time and was therefore struck off again in 2018.

Their loss to Penrith means ninth-placed Canberra are two points behind eighth, but they have a favorable draw in the last four rounds, facing teams below them on the table while many teams straight to the above them will clash.

Geyer blasts Kent: ‘How dare you bring my family there’

Earlier on Tuesday, Mark Geyer blasted Fox Sports analyst Paul Kent on Triple M after the veteran reporter mentioned a family matter involving the Penrith legend’s daughter while defending the ‘weak dog to the world’ rant. Belly” by Ricky Stuart.

Geyer raged into his ‘I’m livid’ mic about Kent’s column in The Daily Telegraph who claimed that Stuart attacked Panthers Five-Eighth Jaeman Salmon and didn’t deserve to be banned for defending his family.

Kent referenced Geyer’s comments on the radio on Monday when he said of Stuart “if it was his son, how would he feel if someone said that about his son?”

And then Kent replied: And this is also the same Geyer who was involved in suing a social influencer for mistakenly identifying his daughter as the victim in a sex video. Given this, it might be fair to assume that he knows how emotions run when family is involved. Still …”

Geyer reacted furiously.

“Paul, I know that. I know how involved they are because it destroyed my family for three or four years. You can’t compare for a second you f…., to what’s going on with this Ricky Stuart saga,” he said.

“You can’t know for a second what we’ve been through. Don’t compare stories. Ricky Stuart has had 12, 12 years to shake this off and he picks the night Penrith kicks his ass to get away with it and call someone a weak dog.

“And then all of a sudden you bring my family in there. How dare you, how dare you. It has nothing to do with my daughter. It has nothing to do with her, but you brought her in there.

Whitehead: Players have Ricky’s back

Canberra will rally around Stuart and continue to keep their NRL season alive, captain Elliott Whitehead has said.

The Raiders skipper, who sat alongside Stuart when he branded Penrith halfback Jaeman Salmon a ‘weak dog’ in Saturday’s post-match press conference, said the controversy will not deflect the attention of the team at a critical stage of its season.

Overshadowed by the storm sparked by Stuart’s comments, the fact that the Raiders’ season is on the brink, one game and a sizable points differential to the eighth-placed Sydney Roosters with four games to go after their loss to the Panthers.

In a week dominated by unwanted headlines about their coach, Whitehead said his players have their backs.

“We support him, he had his reasons,” Whitehead told reporters on Tuesday.

“I won’t go into detail, but we all support Ricky and he knows he probably shouldn’t have said it on this platform.

“He is upset that he let his emotions get the better of him.

“He who enters [to coach]nothing changes… we have a game plan we have to stick to, we’ve been using it for the last two weeks so nothing will change in that department either.

“As a club we are moving forward and not trying to worry about last week, we have a job to do this week and that is to win a game of football.

“We are disappointed to have lost last week, but we are trying to bounce back because we have to.”




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