It's one thing to conceive a prank, but as the Canberra Raiders have so expertly shown, the beauty lies in its execution.
The NRL club decided to spice things up a bit for their players during pre-season training, off the back of a gruelling season.
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Determined to keep the players on their toes after a uniquely challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Raiders staff hatched a sneaky little plan.
It all started with a video session from coach Ricky Stuart - a man not exactly known for his flippant nature.
— Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) December 21, 2020
However, the veteran mentor's role in the elaborate prank cannot be understated as it proved a perfect setup for the events that would unfold a short time later.
In the video uploaded to social media by the Raiders, Sturt tells the players of a reported snake incident in the paddock they are just about to run through for a time trial.
“The park itself was closed yesterday because of snakes but apparently it’s back open today,” Stuart says.
“There should not be any excuse for slow times.”
Coach’s speech sets up prank perfectly
For any players with a fear of snakes, the seed had been planted by the coach and his accomplices.
The video clip then cuts to a shot of another Raiders staff member setting up a remote-controlled snake, which he hid underneath some grass next to the running track the players would be taking.
The ensuing scenes provided comedy gold as the players were filmed reacting to the fake snake jump out in front of them as they were running past.
Some players jumped in shock, others screamed and one even tried to kick it as they ran past.
Iosia Soliola proved the real star of the clip, with the Raiders praising the forward for barely flinching as the 'snake' crawled out to confront him.
The hilarious prank has been watched more than 24-thousand times since it was uploaded by the club on Tuesday.
League fans will no doubt be waiting to see whether another club can match the strong pre-season pranking form the Raiders have displayed.
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