Has Ricky Stuart lost the Canberra Raiders dressing room?

·3-min read
Coach Ricky Stuart (pictured left) looking dejected and (pictured right) Raiders players looking defeated.
Has Ricky Stuart (pictured left) lost the dressing room at the Raiders? (Getty Images)

Seasoned Ricky Stuart watchers can’t remember a time when they've seen the veteran Canberra coach look so distraught and lost for answers.

Saturday night's 44-6 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at GIO Stadium was as bad as it gets for a team that was perhaps just a six-again call away from winning the comp two years ago.

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Stuart watched the latest disaster from the sideline but there was none of the usual chair-kicking passion we've come to expect.

It was like he knew it was coming but was powerless to stop it.

The Titans – yes the Titans, not the Storm or Panthers – scored eight tries to one, including three while they had David Fifita in the bin.

Some of Canberra's defence was laughable, the commitment non-existent.

And, sorry to say it, a lot of that falls on the coach.

If Stuart hasn't lost the dressing-room, he's certainly misplaced it.

The Raiders can wallpaper it all they want but the George Williams saga has clearly damaged the coach's relationships with some players beyond repair.

George Williams (pictured) calls for the ball during the round 11 NRL match.
Canberra's handling of the George Williams (pictured) situation caused controversy. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Many of those letting him down are the same players who were running through brick walls for him not long ago.

As Parramatta great Peter Sterling said: "Where there's smoke there's fire. Canberra's in a Bermuda Triangle – they're gone."

Stuart has two years left to run on his deal and there is no suggestion he is going anywhere.

He deserves time to sort out the mess but it's clear he's going to have to make some tough calls on his playing roster.

It could get a lot worse for Canberra before it gets better.

Sea Eagles set to profit off Covid idiocy

The Sea Eagles stand to benefit two weeks in a row from the Covid idiocy and selfishness of other teams.

Five Bulldogs were missing from the side flogged 66-0 by Manly on Saturday, locked in self-isolation after breaching Covid regulations.

And now it's the Dragons' turn to play Jeff Daniels to the Bulldogs' Jim Carrey in the latest Dumb and Dumber sequel.

Dragons players Paul Vaughan (pictured) thanking the crowd.
Dragons players Paul Vaughan (pictured) has been fined over throwing a gathering during NSW's strict stay-at-home orders. (Getty Images)

Up to 12 Red V players are set for 14 days of self-isolation following Paul Vaughan's sausage fizzle, severely hampering the club's ability to field a competitive side for the July 16 clash with Manly.

Okay, the Sea Eagles could have phoned in the Canterbury result, but the Dragons would at least have provided some resistance at full strength.

As it stands, Manly will collect four easy competition points and a big sugar hit to its for and against.

That laughter you can hear is coming from the northern beaches.

Which coach is REALLY feeling the pressure?

One NRL coach is definitely feeling the pinch after a recent run of outs.

He has gone into full siege mentality and is refusing to return calls and messages from those who were considered allies in the good times.

And, no, it’s not Ricky.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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