Canberra coach Ricky Stuart is reportedly facing the largest fine for referee criticism in the history of the NRL after he walked out of the media conference following last week’s match against Brisbane.
Fairfax reports that the Raiders have been issued a $20,000 breach notice after the NRL found the club failed to meet five guidelines outlined in their media protocol after the 24-12 loss to the Broncos.
Unhappy with decisions which went against his team, Stuart answered just one question before he and skipper Jarrod Croker left.
“No it wasn’t one of those games … (NRL head of football) Toddy Greenberg, he was at the game tonight and I just really hope he saw what I saw,” Stuart said.
“It’s a lot healthier for our club if we don’t go any further into this press conference.
“I have respect for all the media, it’s got nothing to do with you, but it’s just a lot healthier if I don’t continue. Thanks.”
The NRL found the Raiders breached guidelines including not genuinely participating in the media conference and making comments which could be interpreted as criticism of referees Gavin Badger and Chris Sutton.
The Raiders have five working days to respond and decide whether to lodge an appeal.
The club have reportedly confirmed they won’t make a decision until next week.
Stuart has a history of contentious relations with referees.
He has been issued with fines a number of times, and was sacked as Australian Test coach after abusing referee Ashley Klein in the lobby of a Brisbane hotel the day after the 2008 World Cup final.