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The Canberra Raiders have been issued a breach notice following comments by coach Ricky Stuart about the refereeing during last weekend’s game against Penrith.

NRL Head of Football, Mr Todd Greenberg, said the NRL had a duty to protect match officials against excessive criticism or comments which attacked their integrity.

He said the comments and language used by Ricky Stuart on the weekend were excessive and a $10,000 breach notice has been issued to the Raiders.

The Raiders now have five working days to respond to the notice.

“Coaches have every right to comment on the refereeing of a match and to be critical of particular decisions,” Mr Greenberg said.

“But those comments should not be excessive or damage the image of the game – and that is what has happened in this case.”

In particular, Mr Greenberg said he was concerned about the language used by Stuart to describe the refereeing.

“We have to take a stand against this kind of commentary or it will open the door for coaches to do the same thing week after week,” he said.

“And that is not in the best interests of the game.”