Ricky Stuart will learn his fate on Tuesday after an explosive press conference on Sunday. Photo: Melissa Adams
The NRL will sift through Ricky Stuart's explosive referee tirade with a fine-tooth comb before determining if the Canberra Raiders coach will be hit in the hip pocket.
But former Raiders captain Alan Tongue believes Stuart's comments didn't cross the line and shouldn't result in him being stung with a substantial fine.
Stuart let fire with both barrels in a fiery aftermath to Sunday's controversial 26-20 loss to the Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium, describing the officiating as “s---”, “laughable”, “poor” and “not at the standard of first grade”.
The Raiders have another reason to be annoyed after Panthers hooker James Segeyaro was cleared by the NRL's match review committee for a forearm to prop David Shillington.
The incident stopped Raiders lock Shaun Fensom from scoring a try in a heated match which featured expletive language from both sides on the field to be broadcast on the television and radio coverage across the country.
An NRL spokesman said all of Stuart's comments would be taken into account before deciding if he had breached the relevant guidelines.
''The NRL is going to review the transcript of Ricky’s press conference and make a decision on whether any action needs to be taken,'' the spokesman said. ''A decision is likely tomorrow.''
The match review committee found on Monday that Segeyaro had no case to answer for his contact with Shillington, believing a penalty against the Panthers hooker was sufficient punishment.
Shillington was initially penalised for reacting to Segeyaro as Fensom was about to score.
But the decision was overturned after the video referee examined footage of Segeyaro making contact with Shillington and the Papua New Guinea international was placed on report.
Stuart was critical of several decisions from referee Gavin Badger and his assistant Grant Atkins, including the Fensom no-try and Jarrod Croker being penalised twice for tackling Panthers winger David Simmons in the air while contesting a bomb.
"I've been involved in some clangers in my career and I'll have critics lining up to say I'm a whinger, but that takes the cake today,'' Stuart said.
"The referees today were not at the standard of first-grade referees.
“Our most important spectator at this game today was (referees’ boss Tony) Archer.
“He’s seen it first-hand so he doesn’t need to go back and review it.”
Stuart was fined a total of $25,000 for two incidents of criticising referees when he was coaching Parramatta last season.
Coaches are allowed to voice their opinion on the performance of the officials, but cannot question their integrity.
Tongue, who was broadcasting the Raiders' game for ABC radio, didn't believe Stuart had crossed the line.
"I don't think he should be fined – Ricky didn't have any personal shots at the referees,'' Tongue said.
"He was pretty much justified with his comments and had to stand up for his players.
"With that said, those decisions didn't cost the Raiders the game and they'll know it was their mistakes and the dropped balls which were the difference.''
Another unsightly incident from the match was the array of "f---'' and ''c---'' bombs which were audible through the referee's microphones during the Fox Sports telecast.
"The NRL will sit down and discuss the situation with Fox Sports, but ultimately, as the broadcaster, it's their decision,'' the NRL spokesman said.
It's understood Fox Sports, while unhappy that those comments got through, is comfortable that it was an isolated incident and it doesn't happen in the majority of games.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are waiting to hear back from the management of Storm back-rower Kevin Proctor for a decision on his future. Proctor's manager Chris Orr is in England. The Kiwi forward is expected to decide between the Storm, Raiders and St George Illawarra Dragons this week.