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NRL teams cheating to beat Raiders: Stuart

NZN 28/05/2017 Matt Coughlan

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has accused opposition NRL teams of "cheating" at the ruck in a deliberate tactic to beat the Raiders.

Stuart made the comments despite his side's 24-16 victory over the Sydney Roosters, after what he considered to be further evidence rival teams were using a ploy to shut down the Raiders' dynamic attack.

"Teams have worked out how to play us; you've got to cheat at the ruck," Stuart said.

He was frustrated by a penalty given against the Raiders for their marker not being square.

"When we get pinged tonight for being split at marker and it just annoys me because I can get 15 of those a game," Stuart said.

"I sit there and do reviews week-in and week-out and I see all the cheating at the ruck.

"You've got to be scrappy at the ruck. The more you cheat at the ruck, the more you stifle our attack; it's as simple as that."

The Raiders are 6-6 after 12 rounds, as they adjust to the transition from hunter to hunted on the back of a breakout year in which they finished second before being eliminated in a preliminary final.

With attacking threats like hooker Josh Hodgson, the NRL's leading try scorer Jordan Rapana and his right-edge partner Joey Leilua, opposition teams are fully aware of the danger Canberra pose.

Stuart said he hadn't spoken to referees boss Tony Archer about their rivals' ruck tactics.

"I try not to be one of those coaches that I have been over the years, that there are today, where you're constantly ringing and ringing because you get nothing out of at," he said.

But he doesn't blame officials for not penalising the infringements given how common they are.

"It's hard for referees because they don't want to be giving 25, 30 penalties away a game," Stuart said.

"But if you want a constant flow of attack, you want to see a good game of football, maybe you've got to start coming down a bit harder on that."

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