Ricky Stuart, penalty, press conference comments, Canberra Raiders, Penrith Panthers, Jaeman Salmon, Phil Gould
Phil Gould says it’s natural for people to wonder about the motivation behind Ricky Stuart’s stunning “weak gutting dog” elimination of young Panther Jaeman Salmon.
But the rugby league icon pleaded that the story behind the verbal assault be kept private, insisting that “it’s not going to be healthy”.
The NRL are set to hand out a punishment to Stuart – likely a two-game ban, according to Nine’s Danny Weidler – after the Raiders coach attacked Salmon in an explosive post-match press conference Saturday.
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When Stuart was asked about an incident involving Salmon in the Raiders’ loss to the Panthers, in which the five-eighth kicked Tom Starling in the groin, the veteran coach vented.
It has since been revealed that Stuart remains exasperated by an incident during a 2010 junior rugby league match, in which Salmon and Stuart’s son played.
Weidler thinks the frosty history between Stuart and Salmon extends beyond this game.
But Gould insisted on Nine’s 100% Footy that the sensitive past must remain secret.
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“Naturally, people will be curious as to what drove him and why Ricky snapped the way he did — and he snapped,” Gould said.
“He (said to me): ‘I had no idea this was going to come out’. It wasn’t premeditated, but the mere mention of his name brought back bad memories for me and all of a sudden the words had come out before he could take them back.
Raiders boss condemns Stuart’s comments
“I am far too close to this situation to comment on it publicly.
“Whatever the NRL decides, naturally people and the media are going to be very curious to know what motivated it, what the story was. Everyone is going to try to delve into that story.
“And let me tell you: it won’t do anyone any good.
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“So hopefully with the NRL decision… which Ricky is fully ready and prepared for for any decision to come – I’d like to think that’s the end of it and no one else opens the mouth.”
Cameron Smith, who was coached by Stuart in the Kangaroos setup, agreed with Gould.
Ricky apologizes for Salmon outburst
“Private matters should stay private anyway, right?” the Storm caption said on 100% Footy.
“Don’t you think? It’s separate from rugby league.”
Smith also said he was “shocked” by Stuart’s comments and that the Canberra mentor had “crossed the line”.
“It’s not going to be healthy for anyone that this story, which goes back to a while, comes out now and people want to dig into this and read things that shouldn’t be there, and it’s not going to be good for people who are involved,” Gould added.
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