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Stuart asks media to go easy

12/09/2004 08:22:02 PM Comments (0)

Coach Ricky Stuart told the media to back off after the Sydney Roosters' 38-12 qualifying final win over the Canberra Raiders at Aussie Stadium was soured by two key players being placed on report.

Stuart told the media not to try to "influence" the NRL match review committee before it could take a look at incidents involving class halfback Brett Finch and veteran backrower Luke Ricketson.

Finch was placed on report for a lifting tackle that landed Canberra fullback Clinton Schifcofske on his head in the 16th minute and Ricketson was reported for a head slam tackle that left Canberra reserve Josh Miller concussed in the 27th.

Finch could be in trouble if slapped with a grade two dangerous throw charge while Ricketson may also be in danger of missing the rest of 2004 if hit with grade two contrary conduct.

Stuart said he was "positive" both would be cleared after looking at footage with Roosters advisor and former No.1 referee Bill Harrigan.

"(But) I'm expecting to have a whole heap of publicity tomorrow from a lot of you guys here, trying to influence the outcome on it," Stuart said.

Asked what he was referring to, Stuart said: "Probably similar to today in the (Sydney's Sunday) Telegraph where you try to get (people) trying to work out ways to beat the Roosters.

"You give a full double page spread of stuff that's controversial, stuff that's probably not promoting the Roosters, stuff that's not helping the game."

Even mild mannered Roosters skipper Brad Fittler took a parting shot at the two-page newspaper story on how to beat the minor premiers.

"Those stats in the paper, we proved them wrong today," he said.

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