Rugby League


Social media reacts to Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart's post-game press conference

The extraordinary post-game outburst from Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has generated plenty of debate on social media.

The majority of the comments on the Raiders' Facebook page were sympathetic to Stuart and the claims he made in the wake of the 34-16 loss to St George Illawarra on Saturday.

However, there were some who claimed that Stuart's remarks were an excuse to cover up his poor coaching record.

Stuart conceded he was in a rebuilding process, that his present squad wasn't strong enough to compete with the best in the NRL until it recruited representative players and that sacking State of Origin duo Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson last year had been a catalyst for the Raiders' poor season.

Stuart is in his first year at the Raiders. He is in danger of collecting wooden spoons in consecutive seasons with two different clubs after finishing last at Parramatta in 2013.

Dave Kennard wrote that Stuart deserved time to build the squad he wants and that it was too early to judge him on this season alone.


''For those so-called fans calling for Ricky to be sacked, have a good hard look at the side,'' Kennard wrote.

''The fact he has chosen eight players outside our contracted top 25 says it all.

''I really hope he turns it around and we compete in grand finals with Ricky as coach.''

Michael Cavanagh also backed Stuart to succeed in the long run. He claimed that super coach Wayne Bennett and Melbourne Storm premiership-winner Craig Bellamy also would have struggled if they had the roster the Raiders have.

''All [you] bagging Ricky really got no idea,'' Cavanagh wrote.

''He improved NSW culture [and] systems for Laurie Daley to come in and take over, and did same at [Parramatta] by making hard decisions that no one else was willing to make. 

''Let's just see what happens next year, I'm sure we will be much better.''

Steve Harris warned Raiders fans that Stuart's comments were designed to take the focus off his coaching record.

''Don't be fooled by Ricky's slick talking,'' Harris wrote.

''He's great at it. After all, he keeps talking himself into multi-year million-dollar contracts despite his deplorable record.

''If you wait for the rebuilding he wants to sell you on (which will never happen) it will be far too late.

''Why do you think Ricky always goes to a team that needs rebuilding? It's so he can get away with poor results and have an in-built excuse.''