Canberra Raiders lock Shaun Fensom models the yellow jersey the side will wear against North Queensland on Sunday. Photo: Jamila Toderas
It may cost him another big hit to the back pocket, but Canberra Raiders lock Shaun Fensom believes coach Ricky Stuart did the right thing by standing up for his players after the drama-filled loss to Penrith on Sunday.
Fensom admitted confusion reigned on-field when he was denied a crucial second-half try, which prompted an angry tirade on the standard of refereeing from Stuart in the post-match press conference.
Shaun Fensom. Photo: Jamila Toderas
Stuart was issued with a $10,000 breach notice on Wednesday and the Raiders have five days to decide whether to fight the fine. They are yet to decide, but many critics believe they have grounds for appeal as Stuart criticised decisions rather than the integrity of the individual referees.
Lead referee Gavin Badger reversed a penalty against Canberra's David Shillington for reacting to an elbow from Penrith's James Segeyaro, but did not award the try that was scored from the ensuing play.
''It was a bit of confusion and [we] need a bit more clarification there,'' Fensom said. ''We didn't really know what was going on, [but] we had to deal with that and there was still plenty of time left in the game for us to win it.''
Stuart took aim at the referees, with that incident the centre of his frustration. ''I've been involved in some clangers in my career and I'll have you critics lining up to say I'm a whinger, but that takes the cake today,'' Stuart said. ''I've seen some good ones but, gosh, that was poor. The referees today were not at the standard of first-grade referees.''
Despite the controversy Stuart did admit the Raiders ''beat themselves'' with a string of penalties and simple errors.
The Raiders [3-7] are desperate to snap a three-game losing streak and keep their season alive against North Queensland at Canberra Stadium on Sunday. While the Green Machine has been sputtering of late, the Raiders are hoping a change of jersey will bring a change of fortune.
The Raiders will wear one-off canary-yellow strips for the clash with the Cowboys. Fensom modelled the jersey on Thursday.
After the match, the jerseys will be auctioned online at All Bids, with the proceeds going towards charity cycling event Tour de Cure, major sponsor Huawei's charity of choice.
It's believed the club is on the verge of signing a new deal with the Chinese telecommunications company, whose contract with the Raiders expires at the end of the season. ''I don't mind it, it goes toward a good cause and anything like that I'm happy to jump on board.''