Canberra coach Ricky Stuart took a minute to praise his players’ heroism, before leaving his post-match press conference without answering a single question.
“In all my years of coaching… I’ve never been involved in better team performance,” Stuart said. after the Raiders’ 34-31 loss to the New Zealand Warriors in which they lost three players to injury in the opening minutes of the contest.
NRL Highlights: Warriors make an all-time comeback! – Round 1
“We only had one player left on the exchange bench, I have never seen a group of 14 individuals playing so well, yet playing with such adversity and playing for each other.
“I know it’s in us. And I learned tonight that it’s even more in us. I have a winning team in there.”
Stuart’s anger on the sideline was visible after Kodi Nikorima threw a pass to Ben Murdoch-Masila who was openly forward, but not called. The former Tigers forward scored and Nikorima converted, which reduced the lead to nine before two more tries tipped the game in favor of the Warriors.
Stuart was clear before anyone could ask that he wouldn’t be drawn to referee Henry Perenara’s howler, or any arbitration award.
Ugly head-on clash between Raiders teammates
“I come here because it’s my job, I respect the fact that you have a job and I have $ 20,000 hanging over my head,” he said. “If I don’t show up here tonight, I get fined.”
“If all the fine money went to the Ricky Stuart Foundation, I would tell you the truth today. Because then I would be fined and I would know the money is going to the best cause I know of.”
He then walked to the door without answering a question.
“I can’t tell you the truth, I can’t tell you how this game went because I’m going to be fined,” he said. “I won’t answer any questions, I did my job. Thank you.”
For a daily dose of the best of the latest news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter in Click here!