Stuart refuses to bite over Meninga attack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart refuses to bite over Meninga attack

By Steve Jancetic 11/07/2011 08:15:35 PM Comments (0)

NSW State of Origin coach Ricky Stuart has refused to buy into Mal Meninga's stunning attack on rugby league officialdom despite suggestions some of the Queensland coach's vitriol was aimed at him.

Meninga ensured an ugly postscript to the Maroons' sixth-straight series win by taking a swipe at the "rats and filth that tried to poison a monumental team with lies, personal attacks, arrogance and disrespect" in his weekend Brisbane newspaper column.

While targets appeared wide-ranging, it is believed Stuart was among them as Meninga said the attacks had come from people he had considered friends.

Stuart and Meninga have a relationship that dates back to their days as premiership-winning players at Canberra in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Now opposed in a heated interstate rivalry it seems the friendship has been tested, with Meninga admitting in the lead-up to last week's series decider that Stuart had got under his skin with some of his pre-game barbs.

Stuart refused to bite however, claiming he had not even read the article.

"It doesn't concern me, it doesn't affect me - it was a game of football that we didn't win and that's what I was more disappointed about, but I'll move on," Stuart told the Ten Network.

"I went into the sheds after the game - which is hard to do after a loss - but I went in and shook his (Meninga's) hand and said the best team had won and had a three or four minute discussion with Mal."

Pressed on whether he felt some of the remarks had been directed at him, Stuart said:

"... it doesn't concern me. I've been told it was quite bizarre and it doesn't sound like Mal to me in regards to what people have been telling me."

Meninga still has the threat of legal action hanging over his head, with match review committee chairman Greg McCallum upset at comments made in regard to judiciary matters involving Queensland pair Johnathan Thurston and Dave Taylor during the Origin series.

Meanwhile, NRL referees coach Stuart Raper on Monday admitted video referee Tim Mander got it wrong in awarding South Sydney backrower Jason Clark a try just before halftime in Sunday's loss to Manly.

Clark scored off the back of an acrobatic effort from winger Nathan Merritt, who flicked the ball back to his teammate as he was flying over the dead ball line.

But Raper said Merritt had clearly had a foot outside the field of play when he making his stunning play.

"The video referee awarded this try due to benefit of the doubt, but we believe he got this one wrong," Raper told the NRL website.

"We watched every angle in slow motion and we believe that Merritt's foot was on the dead ball line while he was still touching the ball and thus it should have been a 20-metre tap to Manly."

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