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Stuart slams 'whingeing' coaches

By Steve Jancetic 20/05/2008 07:11:21 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart has labelled some of his NRL counterparts as whingers after several voiced their objection to teams being forced to play without their Origin stars.

While Stuart says he would welcome a move to stand-alone State of Origin matches, the Test mentor slammed claims by some coaches that they were being severely disadvantaged by the structure of the draw.

Newcastle coach Brian Smith claimed it was unfair that St George Illawarra were gifted two competition points playing against a Melbourne side missing nine Origin representatives on Saturday night, a sentiment echoed by Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

But Stuart called on other teams to deal with the consequences of playing without their best players, as he was forced to do when skipper Paul Gallen and Greg Bird were stood down for Saturday night's win over Brisbane.

"The only people that are complaining are the coaches who are getting bashed up because their players aren't there and they rely so heavily upon them," Stuart told Sydney radio station 2KY.

"I'd love to have a stand-alone weekend and play Origin but we've got Penrith at Penrith and Canberra at Canberra on a Monday night (coming up) without my two (NSW) players who to Cronulla are as strong as those nine blokes for Melbourne are.

"We're all in the same boat. It's funny when coaches lose one player and they rely so heavily upon them they want to go and whinge and change all the rules."

"You know that you're going to be missing your Origin players and you plan for that, so there's no use whingeing about it as soon as you get touched up by a team."

Stuart even had a solution for those coaches fed up with being forced to fend without their Origin stars for three games a year:

"Don't go out and buy your rep stars," he said.

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