'F*** me dead': Ricky Stuart seethes at journalist's question

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·Sports Reporter
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Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was furious after being asked about his thoughts on the Penrith crowd after their 36-6 loss. Picture: Fox League
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was furious after being asked about his thoughts on the Penrith crowd after their 36-6 loss. Picture: Fox League

You won't win any prizes for figuring this out, but silly questions and NRL coaches coming off a loss are rarely a good mix.

One journalist found out the hard way on Sunday afternoon following the Canberra Raiders' 36-6 loss at the hands of the Penrith Panthers, feeling the wrath of coach Ricky Stuart after a relatively innocuous question.

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It was a miserable road trip for the Raiders, who had to watch Penrith fans mock them throughout the second half by repeatedly performing the famed 'Viking clap' performed by fans before every home game.

An already irritated Stuart was in no mood for questions about the crowd, so when one journalist asked if he felt the Panthers crowd had been disrespectful they copped a fairly blunt response.

“Ricky one of the big moments in the second half a couple of times with the Viking clap, what where your thoughts about that?” the journalist asked, prompting Stuart to ponder the point of continuing the press conference.

“I have got not thoughts mate,” Stuart answered.

“Is that really a big focus point?”

Raiders captain Jack Wighton echoed his coach's sentiment before Stuart interjected.

“Well if that is all we have got to talk about. F*** me dead," he said.

The Raiders only ended up with 40 per cent possession for the match, ran 1,000 metres less than the Panthers, had just one line-break to their hosts' six, and busted 18 tackles compared with Penrith's 32.

Something had to give after the opening 13 minutes with the Raiders camped on their line and Stephen Crichton finally crossed for the Panthers in the right-side corner.

Raiders prop Joe Tapine helped to level things up just four minutes later with a hard-running try, but it was one-way traffic from there.

Raiders up against it after brutal NRL loss to Penrith

Penrith remain blemish-free for the year winning seven on the trot, the only unbeaten team in the NRL.

Crichton's performance - that's now six tries in seven games - was played out in front of NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler who was sideline commentator for Channel Nine.

Fittler is likely to have a vacancy in his centre ranks for the opening Origin game in Sydney on June 8 with both incumbents Latrell Mitchell (hamstring) and Tom Trbojevic (knee) still several weeks from returning.

The Origin team will be named after round 12.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said Crichton had all the attributes for the Origin arena.

"I don't think he'd let anyone down. He's been really good this year for us," he said.

Crichton said he enjoyed his time in the NSW Blues extended squad for 2020 but would not start sweating on whether he could got a step further this year.

The Canberra Raiders had a tough day out against Penrith, thoroughly outclassed in a heavy loss. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)
The Canberra Raiders had a tough day out against Penrith, thoroughly outclassed in a heavy loss. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

"I just want to play consistent footy for Penrith and any bonuses that come from that would be good for me and my family," he said.

Crichton did his chances no harm after Cronulla centre Siosifa Talakai pushed his name into the ring with a swashbuckling two tries, three try assists and three line-breaks in Thursday's win over Manly.

For Canberra there is more disappointment.

They hung in relentlessly for a large chunk of the game but caved in during the final 18 minutes.

"It was very hard," Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said.

"I don't think we had a play-the-ball in their half in the second half. We were forever defending, so it wouldn't have only been Penrith that beat us by that amount - other teams would have to."

With AAP

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