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Statement on Ricky Stuart

The National Rugby League today issued a Breach Notice to the Canberra Raiders concerning coach Ricky Stuart.

The Notice alleges Stuart failed to comply with the game's Code of Conduct at Sunday's match against the New Zealand Warriors when he threw a water bottle, with force, out of the coach's box during the match.

The NRL has proposed a wholly suspended $10,000 fine for those actions.  The NRL has also issued Stuart with a warning concerning his comments regarding the performance of the referees at the post match media conference.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo reminded all coaches not to leave their behaviour open to question during the Finals Series.

"We expect our coaches to set the standard for behaviour within our clubs and Ricky's conduct on Sunday is not the image we want to portray to our fans. This is effectively a good behaviour bond. If there's a repeat then the fine will be enforced. It should act as another reminder to all coaches," he said.

Mr Abdo reminded Stuart not to leave his post match comments open for question.

"Any public comments in media conferences which cross the line into questioning the competence, professionalism or integrity of our match officials are treated very seriously by the NRL and we make no apologies for that.  On this occasion, Ricky's comments went very close to crossing that line and he has been warned concerning that.  The NRL makes many processes available to Head Coaches to discuss on-field matters in a way which preserves the respect due to everyone who works in our Game.

"I have spoken directly with Ricky about this matter and I thank him for his cooperation. I took into account the leadership Ricky showed during his post-match commentary after last year's Grand Final when determining a penalty."

The Club has five working days to respond to the Breach Notice.