Ricky Stuart has an apology to make after Canberra’s breakthrough NRL win.
The Raiders coach demanded his players make him say sorry for the public verbal bashing he delivered following their “crap” round-four loss to Manly.
In the post-match press conference, Stuart blasted his players as “soft” and said they should be “embarrassed” to wear the jersey.
The only way the Canberra legend would be apologising is if the Raiders avoided slipping to 0-5, which would be their worst start to a season since the club’s inaugural year in 1982.
But the almighty spray worked and Stuart was “one proud coach” after their brave 26-10 victory over Canterbury.
An emotional Stuart, who was seen riding every play from the sidelines, said it was a courageous win that everyone involved with the club could be proud of.
“It’s nice for me to see what I see every day in the effort and the grind coming out in what I believe is one of the toughest wins I’ve ever been involved in with the green jumper,” Stuart said.
“The adversity we had to confront today with the injuries and this week, the criticism we’ve been copping but we know deep down what we’re about and what the jumper is about. I’ve never been prouder of an effort.”
They had to do it despite multiple injuries after head knocks to Ata Hingano and Michael Oldfield, along with Sam Williams’ knee injury, left them with one fit player on the bench for the last 25 minutes of the match.
Oldfield was a late inclusion in the Raiders’ starting side after fullback Jack Wighton withdrew following his partner giving birth to a child.
Wighton had been in the news already during the week as police investigate a nightclub incident in which he was allegedly involved.
Raiders centres Jarrod Croker and Joseph Leilua both bagged doubles in the win, while captain Croker kicked five of his six goals.