The Roar
The Roar


'I’m p--sed off that people aren’t doing their jobs properly': Ricky Stuart gives refs both barrels in epic press conference spray

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26th August, 2023
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Ricky Stuart has unloaded on the NRL refereeing hierarchy after the Raiders’ defeat to Brisbane in Canberra on Sunday night.

Sticky was down on the sidelines when Hudson Young was called for an escort on Selwyn Cobbo following a short dropout late in the game, a decision that was confirmed by the Bunker, leaving the veteran coach visibly angered.

He initially refused to go into his feelings, telling Fox League sideline reporter James Hooper that he had already told him off-mic what he thought when asked if he thought the Young call was contentious.

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“Contentious?” he answered.

“I told you outside what I thought and you agreed, and if I tell you again what I said out there, I’ll get fined so I’m better off not saying a word. It went for 80 minutes.

“It doesn’t matter what my view is. The same view as Hudson’s. 


“Why do you reckon they do it? Why do you reckon little old ladies are sitting up off their chair going off their head? You’ve had a bad day when little old ladies are going off their head. I can’t do nothing. You have to cop it.

“It would have had to go to the Bunker, to go to a black and white rule. Every escort is going to be exactly the same as Hudson’s, but why does it go against us?

“As it did three or four weeks ago off a short kick off that brought a football team back into the game competing against us, I forget the actual game. It happens every game on these escorts. I don’t understand why it’s with us. Well I do understand, but that’s the part I can’t talk about.”

Stuart turned on the hierarchy of referees, speculating that Jared Maxwell, the Elite Officiating General Manager at the NRL, was being undermined by other people within the league.

“Jared Maxwell is a very good operator, he’s a very good boss of referees,” he said. “I reckon power’s been taken off Jared in a number of areas because they’re not improving. 

“Jared was a very intelligent ref and he’s a good boss for the referees. I honestly believe there’s been a lot of power taken off him.


He arrived very late for the press conference – the convention is that the losing team goes first, but Kevin Walters appeared ahead of the Raiders coach – and railed against being forced to do press conferences after perceived poor refereeing performances.

“I get bored in here,” said Stuart.

“I’ve got the NRL media manager ringing us saying ‘why isn’t he in this press conference?’ – the reason I didn’t come in this press conference earlier – and that I have to keep you poor people waiting – is that I’m pissed off that people aren’t doing their jobs properly.”