Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Will Ricky Stick to Plan in Canberra?

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Will Ricky Stick to Plan in Canberra?

Article excerpt

LEAGUE OF

THEIR OWN

TONY DURKIN

SO RICKY Stuart has agreed to coach the Canberra Raiders for the next three years, but seriously, who is surprised?

This is yet another chapter in the on-going instability in some NRL clubs and is, quite frankly, a stain on the code.

Players jumping in and out of contracts is one thing - coaches doing the same is much more serious and destabilising.

But the question mark over this latest move is whether Stuart is in fact jumping from the frying pan in to the fire.

Sure Parramatta is a basket case, on and off the field, but is Canberra any better? And is the volatile Stuart the man to fix the problems at the Raiders?

I understand that when Stuart went to the Eels he had not selected the playing roster. But during the year he culled and recruited and, as a result, has left a raft of unanswered questions.

For instance, does Jarryd Hayne have a clause in his contract that he becomes a free agent if Stuart is not coach? And how does former Bronco Corey Norman stand? He signed with the Eels to be coached by one of the best halves to have played our game.

Is Will Hopoate, fresh from a two-year Mormon Mission, still as upbeat about joining the Eels next season, and does he also have a get-out clause? And will Wigan forward Lee Mossop still travel halfway round the world to join what is a circus?

Surely these blokes now have the right to break a contract, just as the coach has done.

Courageous Titans

GOLD Coast may have finished out of the eight for the fifth time in their seven NRL seasons, but there was much to like about their courage in 2013.

The Roosters and Storm, already in the top four, may have taken their foot of the accelerator against the Titans in rounds 25 and 26, but even so their understrength opponents were sensational in both away games.

In various clashes throughout the season they looked like champions - in others they were chumps. Discipline was a big issue, and they didn't win too many friends among the refereeing ranks, and injuries hampered them critically. …

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