NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has confirmed an investigation will be launched into Ricky Stuart’s stunning spray aimed at Panthers young gun Jaeman Salmon — as details of the history between the pair has been revealed.
Speaking on the Big Sports Breakfast, Abdo said the NRL Integrity Unit would be looking into the matter, and The Daily Telegraph’s Buzz Rothfield also explained ARLC chairman Peter V’landys is “aware of the full background”.
The bad-blood reportedly stems from Salmon’s time in the Cronulla Sharks junior system 12-years-ago and an incident with Stuart’s son, who played in the same team, according to the SMH.
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Stuart’s son was reportedly reduced to tears following an incident with Salmon in 2010.
Stuart then made comments which saw Salmon’s father get involved.
The dads then had a heated exchange and had to be separated.
“Not pleasant, I spoke to Ricky late last night and I have spoken to him again this morning,” Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast.
“He knows that this happened a long long time ago, involving junior football and his son and I think that is common knowledge.
“But Ricky last night chose the wrong platform to speak out about it, and his choice of words were probably inappropriate.”
Rothfield also called for all parties to sit down and mediate the situation which has “lingered on for a long time”.
“I think they (NRL) will have to (investigate), I think there has been quite a significant public outrage over Ricky’s choice of words and again the platform of a press conference,” Rothfield said.
“They will certainly investigate it.
“I would like to see them do it properly and maybe get all parties involved, because it has obviously lingered on for a long time and it is not good for the game when things like that blow up like it did last night.”
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Stuart labeled the Panthers playmaker a “weak gutted dog” in his post-match press conference, referencing his previous run-ins with Salmon.
The 23-year-old was placed on report for kicking out at Canberra dummy-half Tom Starling in a tackle.
“But where Salmon kicked Tommy (Starling), it ain’t on,” Stuart said.
“I have had history with that kid (Salmon). I know that kid very well.
“He was a weak gutted dog as a kid and he hasn’t changed now. He is a weak gutted dog person now.”
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary chose not to respond to Stuart’s comments, and Rothfield explained the Raiders coach’s biggest problem is his inability to control his emotions.
“I am very close to Ricky and we know how emotional he gets,” Rothfield said.
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“Ricky’s biggest problem as a football coach and even when he was a player, he is one of those guys that gets so emotionally worked up.
“He has never been good at controlling those emotions, and you can say it wasn’t in the heat of battle, but after you have lost an important game you are still worked up.
“You aren’t thinking as clearly.
“I am not defending him at all, but it is a difficult one for the NRL to manage, I know Peter V’landys is aware of the full background so it is going to be an important story.”