You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NRL refs won't be swayed by Stick: Barrett

NZN 3/06/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Manly coach Trent Barrett is confident NRL officials won't be influenced by claims made by Canberra coach Ricky Stuart that clubs are getting away with murder in the ruck this season.

Stuart last week took aim at the game's referees after his team were pinged for split markers in their win over the Sydney Roosters, saying rival outfits are often guilty of doing the same.

But, ahead of the Sea Eagles clash against the Raiders on Sunday, Barrett believes Stuart's rant will have no impact on how the Lottoland meeting will be officiated.

"I'd like to think not," Barrett said.

"Teams try to slow down the ruck against every side and that's where the game's won. I don't think the Canberra side cops any special treatment. I think we're all in the same boat."

The Raiders back five of Jack Wighton, Jordan Rapana, Jarrod Croker, Joey Leilua and Nick Cotric are widely renowned for supplying the momentum from their kick returns.

And it shows in the stats, with the Raiders currently receiving seven penalties a game this year - fourth in the competition behind North Queensland, Penrith, and St George Illawarra.

Barrett insists his backline is just as adept on getting on the front foot.

"We've got a pretty good back five as well, but that's not my concern. I just go out and coach the players to control what we can control," he said.

"If we play the footy we have been over the last month, we'll be okay. I don't think the referees will be too influenced by that."

The clash comes just five weeks after the Sea Eagles stole a golden point thriller with Dylan Walker's penalty goal in a fiery contest at GIO Stadium.

Walker was sledged numerous times by Raiders officials for his wayward kicking during the match, but had the last laugh with the clutch kick in extra time.

Barrett backed Walker to maintain his composure should the Raiders target him again.

"He's alright. He enjoys it. As long as all my blokes stick together and look after each other, I don't have a problem with it. Sticky will be saying the same to his guys," he said.

"Whatever gets thrown up, we'll handle. The two points is the most important thing to us."

Sea Eagles prop Nate Myles is a late scratching after he suffered a torn ligament in his elbow during Queensland's State of Origin loss, with former Raider Jarrad Kennedy or Lloyd Perrett set to come in.

For Canberra Josh Papalii is likely to back up from Origin in place of the injured Luke Bateman.

STATS THAT MATTER:

- Manly have conceded at least 18 points in their past seven meetings with Canberra.

- Manly have won just one of their six matches as the home team, conceding at least 20 points in all five losses.

- Jarrod Croker has scored 103 tries for Canberra, and needs just two more to equal Brett Mullins in second place on the all-time scorers' list for the club.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon