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Ricky Stuart fiery press conference, Viking clap, Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers, Round 7

Ricky Stuart bristled at reporters when asked about the Panthers fans doing the Viking clap during Penrith’s 36-6 win over the Raiders in a tense press conference.

Panthers fans twice chose to do the Raiders’ infamous prematch ritual during the second half and Stuart was asked about it post match.

“Ricky one of the big moments in the second half a couple of times with the Viking clap, what where your thoughts about that?” a journalist asked.

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“I have got not thoughts mate,” Stuart replied.

“Is that really a big focus point?”

Raiders skipper Jack Wighton was also asked about the Viking clap but refused to be drawn on it.

“I have got no comment mate,” Wighton said.

“Well if that is all we have got to talk about,” Stuart interjected as he motioned to leave.

“F*** me dead.”

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was also asked if the Viking clap antics were disrespectful from the crowd.

“How do you answer a question about what the crowd do?” Cleary said.

“My experience in rugby league is the away teams crowds give it to you constantly.

“All the best stories are from some of the crowds you have got to face.

“I don’t think anyone should be getting too sensitive about stuff like that.

“The crowd pay their money. They are the lifeblood of the game. It is not just your home crowd, it is every crowd.

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Ricky Stuart was in no mood to discuss the Viking clap.Source: FOX SPORTS

“That is what you want. You want people turning up in droves, which has been happening. I would imagine because I don’t really know, that it is just a bit of fun and games.”

The Raiders were right in the contest up until the second half when they failed to have a play-the-ball in Penrith’s territory and Stuart was asked about it post match.

“How hard was that for your side stuck in your own end for most of that second half?” Fox League’s Jake Duke asked Stuart.

“All of it,” Stuart replied.

“Very hard. It is pretty unique to have . . . I don’t think we had a play-the-ball in their half in the second half.

“On the back of a 9-1 penalty count you are forever defending.

“So it wouldn’t have only been Penrith beating us by that amount. Other teams would have beat us too when you are not getting a play-the-ball in the opposition’s half.”

Stuart was asked if the Raiders’ lack of football in Penrith’s half was their own doing, the Panthers’ excellence or the influence of the referees.

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“Yeah all of the above,” Stuart replied.

Stuart was also pressed on his key selections in dropping Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to the bench and shifting Jordan Rapana to the bench and bringing in Xavier Savage on the wing.

“Yeah and I was very happy,” Stuart said.

“I was very happy because if that was 55 minutes, it was our best football this season so we have got to build on that.”

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Stuart was pressed on whether he thought the selections were a success.

“Yeah I do,” Stuart replied.

The Raiders have slipped to second last after their fifth loss of the season, but Wighton vowed his team would learn from the convincing loss to the defending premiers and move forward.

“That’s rugby league mate, you can’t drop your bundle this early in the season,” Wighton said.

“We have had some real tough weeks and all we have to do is keep going. We will learn from this game and go again.”

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