Sport Sacking call over Raiders leaking claims

04:40  11 may  2021
04:40  11 may  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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The Canberra Raiders must immediately sack any official caught leaking information about the struggling team, rugby league great Peter Sterling says.

Former Raider John Bateman claimed to The Sydney Morning Herald that Canberra players suspected unnamed officials of undermining them in the media. Josh Hodgson, who just stood down as co-captain, was one aggrieved player.

With Canberra on a five-match losing streak, tensions are high in the camp. Sterling said that anyone caught inflaming those problems in the media had to go; and that Stuart was no doubt across the problem if leaking was in fact happening.

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"If John Bateman found that out, surely Ricky Stuart would have to know. And if you're leaking any information out of a club, you're gone, straight away," Sterling said on Wide World of Sports' Sterlo's Wrap.

a close up of Ricky Stuart: Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. © Getty Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

"Now, I don't know if anybody has been moved on but I would find it very unusual if John Bateman would be privy to that kind of information and the coach wouldn't suss it out. Ricky's over things fairly well.

"It's a big test of a coaching now for Ricky, to get his side back on track. They are still close enough ... you win two or three games and you propel yourself fairly quickly up this premiership ladder.

"But it's not just necessarily the losses, it's the way they've lost. That's the concern. They just need to turn the conversation around about what's happening at the club to some positivity, because it's all negative coming out of the camp at the moment."

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Josh Hodgson sitting at a baseball game: Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson. © Getty Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson.

Stuart was reportedly fuming about the suggestion that media criticism of players had been initiated from within the Raiders.

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Canberra's off-field tensions appear to be contributing to their on-field battles and vice-versa. The Raiders have been outscored 93-8 in the second half during their five-game winless streak, losing their past three matches despite leading at half-time.

"I think it's a mental thing now. I think they actually start to think, if something goes against them, 'Oh, here we go again'," Sterling said.

"I don't know whether it becomes a lack of confidence then.

"We keep talking about the individuals down there who seem to have a problem of some degree. Ricky keeps telling us it's a happy dressing shed, what you're reading, it makes good fodder in the press but it's not a problem down here.

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"You've got to think that it's got to have some kind of influence when you've got arguably your best player standing down for a weekend, as [Josh] Papalii did last week. When George Williams is struggling. If you're not happy off the field, that transcends and affects your performance. Josh Hodgson..."

a close up of Ricky Stuart et al. looking at the camera: Kirsten Tapine and Ricky Stuart. © Instagram/Getty Kirsten Tapine and Ricky Stuart.

Stuart was also blindsided by a social media attack from the wife of New Zealand Test forward Joe Tapine, Kirsten, who complained on social media about his game time and used a rubbish bin emoji to describe Canberra's coaches.

As always, winning is the best medicine in rugby league and Sterling said that victory over the lowly Bulldogs on Saturday was essential.

"You've got to draw a line in the sand and I thought it would be last week, especially 16-0 at half-time. Well, it becomes even more important this weekend," he said.

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Stuart measured in harsh Raiders review .
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has denied a rift between him and the playing group, saying he has learnt to strike a balance with how he talks to the team.Five straight losses have heaped pressure on the coach and raised questions about a rift in the club between notorious grill master Stuart and underperforming stars.

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