Stuart's World Cup silence continues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart's World Cup silence continues

By Steve Jancetic 21/11/2008 08:51:24 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach Ricky Stuart's snubbing of the media continued unabated on Friday with the embarrassing no-talk brilliantly contrasted by a candid New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney.

Stuart declined the opportunity to speak on the eve of his side's World Cup final against the Kiwis, the Kangaroos mentor instead sending assistant John Cartwright to face the throng of reporters on hand for Australia's last training session.

It is a situation that has been prevalent throughout the tournament, Stuart's only comments over the past fortnight coming in the mandatory post-match press conference following the semi-final win over Fiji and via his contractual deals with newspaper and radio companies.

Match-eve is the traditional forum for the captain and coach to speak to the media, Stuart's silence flying in the face of criticisms he made of then New Zealand coach Brian McClennan when he failed to show up for a press conference in 2006.

Kearney, as he has done before every game this tournament, obliged without hostility on Friday, the rookie Test coach saying he had no idea what Stuart was playing at with his snub.

"I feel we have an obligation certainly to the game ... if I can help promote it in any way and send the message that it's going to be a wonderful night tomorrow night then I've got no problem with that," Kearney said.

"It's a World Cup final - we feel that we're trying to do the best we can for the game."

Asked if he knew why a coach would shy away from talking in the lead-up to a match, Kearney tongue in cheek said:

"I've just spent six weeks with Wayne Bennett so I'm getting a fair idea," the comment in reference to Bennett's at time prickly relationship with the media.

Cartwright denied there was any malice in Stuart not talking, the Test coach instead opting to watch his players go through their warm-ups before training as his assistant answered questions.

"Just generally the day before the game, day of the game, Ricky likes to focus his attention with the team," Cartwright said.

"That's been the way it has been all tournament so no real reason for it."

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