Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has denied the Curtis Scott sacking has been a distraction for the club, claiming he’s never been prouder of his “courageous” team before a must-win clash against the Warriors.
Scott, who was shown the door by the Raiders earlier this week after being stood down for allegedly punching a man in a Canberra nightclub in May, hit out at the club over the circumstances of his sacking, a day after he revealed he has struggled with his mental health.
Asked if the issue has affected the Raiders, Stuart said on Thursday: “It hasn’t been a distraction. It’s been a year of distractions, and they’ve become pretty used to it, the boys – as the coaches have.
“We’ve just finished our captain’s run and apart from a couple of hurdles with our team in regards to niggles and what not, they trained really well. I just finished talking to them how impressed I have been with their training today. I couldn’t have asked for a greater effort or energy than they’ve produced in the last two games.
“They’re a very courageous football team. That’s why I say I’m a proud coach, because when you can notice that in your performance and play, that’s when it all comes out and what type of character is in your squad.”
The Raiders’ finals chances will effectively be over if they can’t beat the Warriors and the Sharks topple the improving Broncos on Saturday given their inferior points differential.
Stuart’s side has pushed record-breaking Melbourne and the high-flying Sea Eagles in recent weeks, but will most likely need to beat the Warriors and depleted Roosters to squeeze into the top eight.
The Raiders have recalled Corey Horsburgh, who has spent the past two weeks on loan to the Bulldogs alongside Ryan James, while Matt Frawley has been handed the No.7 jumper in preference to veteran halfback Sam Williams.