Stuart, Hasler trade barbs in NRL ‘cheating’ saga

Alex Mitchell |

Titans coach Des Hasler has alleged a gulf in the refereeing in his side’s loss to Canberra.
Titans coach Des Hasler has alleged a gulf in the refereeing in his side’s loss to Canberra.

Ricky Stuart says Gold Coast coach Des Hasler is “on another planet” after the Titans boss blasted the refereeing in his side’s golden point loss to Canberra.

Raiders halfback Jamal Fogarty spared his team’s blushes, slotting a 90th-minute field goal after they conceded two tries in the last four minutes of normal time to squander a 10-point advantage.

But Hasler criticised referee Kasey Badger and said her performance was “pretty poor” after his team conceded five penalties to three, and gave away eight set restarts to the Raiders’ one.

He also questioned probably the game’s most decisive play, suggesting Canberra’s teenage debutant Chevy Stewart was offside when he blocked Titan Kieran Foran’s close-range field-goal attempt.

Jamal Fogarty.
Jamal Fogarty kicks his game-winning field-goal. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Stuart fired back and accused the Titans of “cheating” by wrestling his players for extended periods while they attempted to play the ball, suggesting they could have received “another 10 or 12” set restarts.

“If he’s critical of the six-agains and the penalties, he’s on another planet,” Stuart said.

“He coached well … but the way they cheated when they were standing there with their hand on the ball … the way they cheated on the ground. 

“I feel sorry for Kasey the way they were in her face all night.

“She had to withstand a lot of pressure.

“I’m gonna be making sure I ring (referees boss) Jared (Maxwell) to find out who’s right or wrong here, because I thought Kasey, under pressure, she did a really good job.”

Hasler, who joked he’d be fined $25,000 for his rant, viewed replays of Stewart’s charge-down before his press conference and said he was around one metre offside.

“Did they review it? They didn’t review it. So why not?” he queried.

“So from that point of view, it was heartbreaking.

“The refereeing performance was pretty poor … 10 six-agains to one, some of those are warranted … some of them just leave us battling field position the whole time.

“Possession ends up 60-40, sure, some of that’s our own fault but it’s difficult.”

Stuart, who began his retort saying “f*** me”, could be facing a fine for his language after previously being hit with a financial sanction for swearing in a press conference.