Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart praised his side’s phenomenal effort after their heartbreaking loss to the Warriors before cutting his press conference short to avoid copping a $20,000 fine.
Stuart answered just the one question in his press conference which lasted slightly under two minutes.
He began by labelling his Raiders’ performance as one of the gutsiest he’s ever seen after they were down to just one man on the bench for the final 67 minutes of their 34-31 loss.
“In all my years of coaching, I’ve never been involved in a greater team performance,” Staurt said.
“From whatever minute it was when we only had one player on the interchange bench, I have never seen a group of individuals, given we were down to 14, play so well but yet play to such adversity and play for each other.
“I know it’s in us and, after tonight, I know even more it’s in us.
“I’ve got a winning team in there; we didn’t get the points tonight, but I know which changeroom I would prefer coaching tonight and that’s in my changeroom.”
Stuart then changed topic and went on to say plenty about what he thought of the officiating without trying to say too much at all.
“I came here because it’s my job, I respect the fact you’ve got a job and I have got 20,000 [dollars] hanging over my head,” Stuart said.
“If I don’t turn up here tonight, I get fined. If all of the fine money was going to the Ricky Stuart Foundation I would tell you the truth today because then the money is going to best cause I know of.
“But I can’t tell you the truth, I can’t tell you the way that game panned out because I would get fined so I’m not going to answer any questions, I’ve done my job.”
Stuart then stood up and left immediately to re-join his troops in the sheds.
The most controversial moment of the match came in the 61st minute when a blatant forward pass from Kodi Nikorima that led to a Ben Murdoch-Masila try went unpunished.
Referee Henry Perenara initially stopped as if he were about to blow his whistle but then carried on and awarded the try, much to the disgust of Stuart and the home crowd.
Fox League’s sideline commentator Matt Russell managed to grab a quote from Stuart in the heat of the moment.
“We all make mistakes, but not when they’re right on the spot,” Russell revealed Stuart had said.