Phil Gould reaction to Ricky Stuart ban from Canberra Raiders, response to holding press conferences

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Rugby league icon Phil Gould said the most onerous part of Ricky Stuart’s punishment is the embarrassment, after the Canberra Raiders coach became the first ever club official to be suspended on Tuesday.

Stuart was handed a one-game ban and fined $25,000 by the NRL for labelling Penrith playmaker Jaeman Salmon a “weak gutted dog person” in his post-match press conference on Saturday.

The one-week suspension means as of Tuesday afternoon until next Wednesday, Stuart is not allowed to enter Raiders facilities, attend any type of training session or communicate in any way with his staff or players.

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All coaching duties will instead be handed to his three assistants until Wednesday week.

Speaking on Nine’s Six Tackles With Gus, Gould said Stuart would feel mortified at the penalty above all else.

“I think it’s more embarrassment than anything,” he said.

With Stuart forced to sit out this week’s round 22 clash with St George Illawarra, Gould said that aside from the disturbance caused, the Raiders would be fine.

“Ricky’s staff will look after what happens over the next few days in preparation for the big game,” he said.

“In terms of the coach not being there this weekend, I’m sure the staff will handle it and it won’t effect the team too much – it’s just an unnecessary headline.”

No stranger to being fined for poor behaviour, the league may have recognised that financial penalties have little impact on Stuart, added podcast host Mathew Thompson.

“He’s a very passionate bloke and I think everyone loves that about him, but things probably got the better of him and that drilled into something obviously very deep and personal to him after the game,” he said.

Stuart brands Panther a ‘weak-gutted dog’

Paul Gallen presented the argument that post-game press conferences should be scrapped in his latest column for Wide World of Sports, after Stuart used the media opportunity to launch the stunning personal attack on 23-year-old Salmon, with whom it was later revealed he has personal history dating back to 2010.

However, Darren Lockyer disagreed, seeing value in coaches and captains facing the press shortly after a game.

Gould said the formality was an important part of the game’s broadcast rights agreement, but admitted that it was the intention of the press to seek out an emotional response that will set up a juicy headline for the next day.

“The league have made it important from a media standpoint that we have these press conferences and it’s probably fitting to talk to the fans and the corporates, and the people that put their money into the game, but it’s not treated like that by the media I don’t think,” he said.

“It’s more a chance to try and extract something.

“I think the coaches would be far more forthcoming with information or comment if they didn’t feel like they were there to be trapped.”

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