Ricky Stuart signs extension with Raiders

By Warren Barnsley, Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    Ricky Stuart believes stability at Canberra from his re-signing will have the club better placed to push for an NRL premiership.

    Former captain Stuart is set to become the Raiders’ second longest-serving coach after signing a contract extension to the end of 2020.

    The deal comes despite his attempts to steer the club to back-to-back finals appearances faltering.

    In an inconsistent season, the Raiders sit 10th on the ladder midway through the year with six wins.

    “It’s our time now and we’ve got to do everything we possibly can to be a successful unit,” Stuart told reporters on Monday.

    Stuart has coached the Raiders for 89 games since taking over ahead of the 2014 season.

    His new two-year deal – an extension on his current contract – is set to take him past Don Furner (151) for most games as Raiders coach, behind Tim Sheens (220).

    Also in the Raiders’ favour is that the bulk of their stars, including Jack Wighton, Blake Austin, Shannon Boyd, Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Josh Papalii and Joey Leilua, are contracted next season.

    “The club has a lot of stability at the moment and it’s important to continue that,” Stuart said.

    “I’m just proud of the fact the players are buying into the values we’ve set.

    “This club’s bigger than everybody. It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than the players.”

    Nonetheless, the Raiders have been disappointing as they attempt to go one better than last year’s narrow preliminary final loss to Melbourne.

    Their last-start 24-20 loss to Penrith pre-bye was the sixth time they’ve lost a game by 10 points or less this season.

    Stuart is adamant the Raiders’ show of belief in him will pay off, starting with Saturday’s home clash with Brisbane.

    “We’ve been very, very strong with effort and contribution to the game … and that’s important because results will turn if you keep working hard,” he said.

    “We haven’t our lost our talent. It’s just a matter of getting a few more wins now.”

    Stuart, who has had coaching stints at the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla and Parramatta, failed to the Raiders the finals in his first two years at the helm before narrowly losing to Melbourne in last year’s preliminary final.

    Stuart had an illustrious playing career at halfback with the Raiders, winning three premierships.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • Roar Rookie

      June 19th 2017 @ 9:18pm
      David Brown said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

      He is one lucky coach. With the roster of players he has the Raiders should be in the top four at the very least. Nathan Brown would chew his arm off to have half their quality in the Knight’s ranks.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 10:01pm
      sham said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

      Ricky built this team and I support his extension. The Raiders really need to improve but they can.

      The rest of the competition don’t rate the Raiders that highly which is partly why they get overlooked when it comes to getting chosen for NSW. Croker will never get a look in and I don’t think Shannon Boyd will either despite being a better player than Aaron Woods. Paul Vaughan is also better than Woods but to be fair Boyd’s form has been patchy this year. The Raiders cannot afford to forget that they have to prove the doubters wrong every year.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 5:53am
        Craig said | June 20th 2017 @ 5:53am | ! Report

        The problem is, they don’t prove the doubters wrong every year. In fact, they confirm them.

        They performed great last year after getting a bunch of cheap wins through origin. Being gifted a game against a depleted broncos this week might help them get this season back on track. But, anything short of a top 4 finish will be a disappointing result after the promise from last year.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 6:43am
        no one in particular said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:43am | ! Report

        Will always be a team with the potential to finish top 4. However they won’t because Ricky can’t coach and develop players. Have any of these players improved over the past 18 months? The reason they only have one Origin player is because none of them have stepped up. Thats on the coach

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