NRL 2021: Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart slams referees after loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs

  • 30/04/2021

Raiders coach Ricky Staurt has unleashed another salvo at NRL referees, insisting he'll look for answers after his team finished on the wrong end of a lopsided penalty count on Thursday night.

Canberra fell to a 34-20 defeat to South Sydney Rabbitohs that was closer fought than the scoreline suggests, finishing with just one penalty compared to their opponents' eight.

"I will, but this has been happening a lot this year to us," a seething Stuart said, when asked if had intended to consult referees boss Jared Maxwell.

"I look like the whinger, which I don't really give a sh*t about being labelled the whinger.

"But when you get a game out there where it's eight to one in penalties, I just think that probably needs a discussion."

While the penalties went against them, the Raiders were awarded seven set restarts to the Rabbitohs' zero.

"The ruck was so slow tonight," Stuart said. "I can’t believe it was only seven.

"It probably sounds like it, but I’m not being disrespectful to Souths. They're playing good footy at the moment and I thought we equalled the performance tonight."

The Rabbitohs fought back from an early deficit to claim their seventh consecutive win, with wing Adam Johnston running in two of his side's five tries and Kiwi half Benji Marshall continuing his stellar form.

The Raiders made a late surge but were denied two late tries by the bunker, one of which was called back when Marshall made a token attempt to tackle a player who had tried to remove himself from the play to avoid being called for obstruction.

Stuart admitted it was a savvy play by Marshall but argued that the interpretation is a "blight on the game."

"It was smart by Marshall to run forward and try and tackle a person that was going to help him get a penalty,” he said.

"It was good gamesmanship. There was no way in the world they were going to tackle either of those players there.

"Anybody with a bit of commonsense in regards to rugby league knows that they were two tries.

"But while that type of interpretation is in the game it’s just going to be a blight on the game. We’ve been talking about it for years.

"You can’t run forward and tackle somebody in front of you and not try and tackle the person with the football, can you?"

The loss was the Raiders' fourth in a row, consigning them to inth on the ladder, while the red-hot Rabbitohs have consolidated second place.

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