Ricky Stuart has claimed Canberra players should be embarrassed to wear the Raiders jersey.A furious Ricky Stuart has savaged his Canberra team, declaring them “soft” and claiming they should be “embarrassed” to wear the Raiders jersey after their 32-16 loss to Manly.
The Raiders have slumped to their worst start to a season since 1997 with Saturday night’s defeat their fourth straight and by far the worst.
They allowed themselves just 32 per cent of the ball in the first half and had just three play-the-balls in a 14-minute period where Tom Trbojevic engineered four unanswered Manly tries.
Stuart, a hardened legend of the lime green Raiders jersey who played 203 games for the club, was furious when asked post-match whether it would force him to make changes.
“Why should I make changes when they deliver that crap,” he said.
“They should be all owning up to themselves saying ‘I want to play to get myself out of (the team)’ because what they dished up tonight … they should be embarrassed to put a Raiders jumper on.”
Stuart’s barrage lasted just four-and-a-half minutes but will be sure to shake Canberra’s dressing sheds following the loss after he referenced the word “soft” 10 times.
They face Canterbury on Thursday night at home and do so after four of their starting forwards managed to run just 60 metres.
By comparison they let Manly’s pack pile through them, Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau racking up 330 between them.
“Soft. Soft football, soft pieces of play, soft choices and I’ve probably protected them for too long,” Stuart said.
“Over the last three weeks I’ve thought their effort was there. There was no effort in that first half, that wasn’t us and it was soft.
“We’ve shown how good we can play, we’ve shown the effort in the team and the individual contribution.
“And then when the blowtorch gets applied, and this is wonderful feedback for other coaches, when the blowtorch gets applied. We don’t respond to it.”