Raiders boss fumes at Cleary’s ‘ludicrous’ comments
Canberra Raiders CEO Don Furner has hit back at Ivan Cleary, calling comments made by the Panthers coach during the week “ludicrous”.
Following his side’s win over the Raiders on Friday last week, Cleary was asked whether he thought his young Panthers outfit behaved inappropriately when they dragged Raiders forward Joseph Tapine into a post-try celebration.
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The ensuing scuffle spilt over onto the sideline, where numerous Panthers and Raiders players, as well as a Raiders trainer, became involved.
“Our team is young. I don’t think people see the niggle that comes from the opposition towards our team,” Cleary said, defending his players.
Now, Fox Sports journalist James Hooper has relayed a message from Furner on NRL360, in which the Raiders boss called Cleary’s comments “ludicrous”.
Penrith officials weren’t too happy about this incident from Friday night’s game.Source:FOX SPORTS
“Ivan Cleary should teach his players some humility,” Furner said through Hooper.
“We all understand coaches stick up for their players, but him trying to justify that behaviour is ludicrous.
“He has three or four players in his team who carry on like mug lairs.
“Their five-eighth (Jarome Luai) has been pushing players in the back and running in as the third man for a while now.
“I can’t believe that is the example the Panthers want to set for young kids watching and playing the game.
“If they think this behaviour is acceptable, they’re kidding themselves.”
The scuffle proved an expensive one for both the Raiders and Panthers. For instigating the melee, Penrith’s stand-in fullback Stephen Crichton was fined $1350 but is free to play against the Broncos this week.
The Raiders have been issued with a $10,000 breach notice from the NRL for their trainer’s role in the stoush.
The NRL’s operations manual states that: “Under no circumstances are trainers permitted to approach or become involved in an altercation or melee involving players from either competing team.”
The Raiders have five days to respond to the breach notice or else cough up the cash.
Last Friday night’s game was an enthralling chapter in the rivalry between Penrith and Canberra, which dates back to the sides’ 1990 and 1991 grand final clashes.
The Panthers emerged 30-10 winners, much to the delight of the home ground, who caused a stir by imitating Canberra’s iconic Viking Clap late in the second half.
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