Canberra coach Ricky Stuart stormed out of his press conference after just one question following his team’s nailbiting loss to the Warriors.
The Kiwi side claimed a thrilling 34-31 victory at GIO Stadium, scoring a try at the death then saving one with seconds remaining to hold onto a dramatic three-point win.
But Stuart was clearly irate about something — most likely a dubious refereeing decision that saw the Warriors score a second-half try despite a blatant forward pass in the lead-up to Ben Murdoch-Masila’s four-pointer.
Rugby league great Steve Roach said on Fox League’s commentary: “That was a forward pass, no doubt about it”.
Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Stuart started his presser by saying how proud he was of his troops, who played the majority of the match with just one man on the bench after being ravaged by injury inside 13 minutes.
“In all my years of coaching … I’ve never been involved in a greater team performance,” Stuart said.
“I’ve never seen a group of individuals, when we were down to 14, play so well but yet play to such adversity and play for each other.
“I know it’s in us and I learnt tonight it’s even more in us.
“I’ve got a winning team in there because we didn’t get the points tonight but I know what changeroom I’d prefer to be in coaching tonight and that’s in my changeroom.”
Then things took a turn as Stuart went on a 33-second rant.
“I come in here because it’s my job,” he added. “I respect the fact that you (journalists) have got a job and I’ve got $20,000 hanging over my head.
“If I don’t turn up here I get fined. If all the fine money was going to the Ricky Stuart Foundation I would tell you the truth today because I know that money is going to the best cause I know of.
“But I can’t tell you the truth, I can’t tell you the way that game panned out because I would get fined so I’m not going to answer any questions. I’ve done my job.”
At that point the Raiders mentor stood up and walked out.
Warriors pull off epic comeback
The Warriors pulled off a historic comeback to defeat the Raiders on Saturday afternoon, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s last-minute defensive effort leaving the NRL community in shock.
Canberra was leading by 19 points at halftime, but the visitors mustered five tries in the second half to claim a thrilling win.
The Warriors were trailing for most of the contest, but took the lead in the 77th minute when Adam Pompey barged through on the left wing for a decisive try.
There was almost another late twist when the Raiders backline spread the footy out to winger Jordan Rapana, who looked to reclaim the lead near the corner post with just seconds remaining.
But Tuivasa-Sheck lunged across and knocked the ball out of Rapana’s hands with both players suspended in mid-air, somehow denying the try.
Roach said on Fox League commentary: “That is just unbelievable scenes.”
Co-commentator Warren Smith called it “absolutely incredible”.
Melbourne Storm great Cooper Cronk told Fox League: “I don’t think I’ve seen an individual effort from a player (like that) for a long, long time.
“I’m in awe for the first time in a while. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, I tip my hat to you son.
“That was an outstanding second half and a desperate last play to save the game for your team.”
It was statistically the biggest comeback for the Warriors in NRL history, with the New Zealand side coming back from a 31-10 deficit at the 50-minute mark.
Tuivasa-Sheck registered 137 running metres, six tackle busts, two linebreaks and a try in the second half.
“Last week we spoke about we lost a game in moments, and this week we won a game in a few moments,” Tuivasa-Sheck said after the win.
“That’s going to play a big part, just wanting it more than the opposition.”
READ MORE: Cowboys skipper’s cruel retirement scare
The Warriors cemented their second win of the 2021 season, while the Raiders suffered their first loss of the year.
Earlier, Canberra was dealt a trio of ugly injury blows, with Joseph Tapine, Ryan James and Sebastian Kris leaving the field.
Next weekend, the Raiders will take on the Gold Coast Titans, while the Warriors will face the Sydney Roosters.