Stuart’s sideline antics fire up Raiders

Ricky Stuart wears his heart on his sleeve.

And with every sigh, swear word, scream and smile, his Canberra charges know exactly how he feels.

The colourful coach has sat, stood and squatted on the sideline every one of the Raiders’ NRL games since round eight last year, when they played South Sydney in Cairns.

“”Because it was such a small ground, you could literally hear everything he was saying to you,” skipper Jarrod Croker told AAP.

“Sometimes it was good, sometimes he’s spraying you.

“I remember talking to him after the game and saying ‘I think the boys really enjoyed that’. I know I did.”

Croker, who is good friends with Stuart, said he loved the emotion and antics, good or bad, because it showed how passionate and committed he was.

Even in the freezing Canberra winter, the former champion halfback forgoes the comfort of the coach’s box to stand by his men.

“The boys can see first hand how much he wants to win and how much he loves and cares about the players and the club,” Croker said.

“His passion really wears off onto the boys.

“He doesn’t change for anyone. He just wants to win everything.

“He’s just a competitor. His football was like that as well.

“The boys really enjoy having him as a coach and as a mate.”

It’s something Englishman Elliott Whitehead never experienced in the English Super League, but the hard-working forward said he really liked it.

“It just proves to us what it means to him for us to do well,” he told AAP.

“I like him being down there. I prefer him there than upstairs.

“When you’re walking back, you’ll try glance at him and if you see him looking you’ll try look away.

“If you’ve done something wrong, you don’t really want to look over, but you can still hear him shouting and yelling instructions from the sideline. It’s good.”

Last Saturday night was one time Whitehead admitted he didn’t look to the bench after giving away a late penalty in their qualifying final against Cronulla, which James Maloney converted for a 16-14 win.

Stuart has said before his decision to watch on from the sidelines was inspired by four-time premiership-winning coach Tim Sheens.

While Stuart’s old coach at the Raiders used to sit and wear headphones, Stuart is usually seen pacing up and down.

“If I can be of an assistance to players that’s great. If I’m annoying them, I’ll go sit in the box,” Stuart smiled.

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