Canberra coach Ricky Stewart has been handed a historic ban for a stunning attack on Panthers young gun Jayman Salmon.
Stewart called Salmon a “dog with a weak gut” after the 23-year-old was reported to have kicked him when he was tackled by Ryde prostitute Tom Starling.
Salmon’s family has called for the NRL to take action, while Stewart has withstood criticism for his shocking outburst at his post-match press conference on Saturday night.
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The NRL is furious with the veteran coach and is expected to throw the book at Stewart, with the 55-year-old facing an unprecedented ban.
In the year Stewart has been fined $135,000 by the NRL since becoming a coach in 2002, but could now face his first game ban.
NRL boss Andrew Abdo described the comments as “very serious” and “sad” and is expected to speak again on Monday afternoon.
Phil Rothfield said on the Big Sport Breakfast: “I think it’s very serious what we’re looking at at the moment over penalties.
I think Andrew Abdo was really pissed off yesterday so maybe he’s looking at some kind of suspension, maybe a week or two.
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The NRL Integrity Unit launched an immediate investigation, and Stewart apologized on Sunday.
“He crossed the line there at the weekend,” NRL journalist Adam Pengliley said on the Big Sport Breakfast.
“I like Ricky’s attitude and the way he talks about the game but he shouldn’t have used the NRL press conference to say what he did about an NRL player in a case that goes back at least a decade.
“I think the NRL will be really hard and strong on this. Ricky has been fined a number of times in the past, we know that, but considering how serious it is, I’d be surprised if they didn’t go down the ban route.
“Ricky did the right thing by apologizing yesterday but I’m really excited to see what Andrew Abdo and Peter Vlands come up with later today.
“I don’t think a coach has been suspended, I certainly can’t think of an instance in the last 10 years where a coach has been sat on the sidelines for something in the post-match press conference.
“We’ve seen things off the pitch, Shane Flanagan comes to mind, but nothing for a press conference.
“I think the NRL will wrap this up as soon as possible, this afternoon then tomorrow at the latest, they don’t want to leave this out.
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