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Stuart pleads for 'common sense' rulings regarding obstruction

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said anybody with rugby league "common sense" would have awarded Jack Wighton a pair of tries denied for obstruction in his side's 34-20 loss to South Sydney.

Speaking after his side's fourth loss in a row, the first time that has happened since 2018, Stuart lamented the lost opportunities.   

"It was smart by [Benji] Marshall to run forward and try and tackle a person that was going to help him get a penalty. Good gamesmanship," Stuart said of the first disallowed try.

"There’s no way in [the] world they were going to tackle those players there.

"Anybody with common sense in regard to rugby league knows that they were two tries but while that type of interpretation is in the game it’s going to be a blight on the game, we’ve been talking about it for years.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Rabbitohs

"You can’t run forward and tackle somebody who’s in front of you and not try and tackle the person with the football.

"I was pleased we got back into it, there was a lot of fight to get back into the game and it should have been a lot closer in the last 10 minutes."

Canberra looked to have lost control of the game when Alex Johnston and Jaydn Su’A scored within five minutes of each other just after half-time.

However, Curtis Scott breathed life back into the Raiders' chances after a break on their right edge, with Rapana capitalising to score his second for the night.

After a split bomb by Souths’ fullback Cody Walker, Jacob Host was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul and the Rabbitohs were forced to play with only 12 men for the final seven minutes.

Blight on the game: Stuart laments 'common-sense calls'

Wighton twice crossed the line in that period only to see "NO TRY" flash up on the replay screen and snuff out the last remaining chances the Raiders had.

Canberra was forced to reshuffle its side just before kick-off when George Williams (hamstring) was ruled out.

Williams did not appear to be dramatically limping when he left the field, with scans to confirm if serious damage has been done.

Sebastian Kris finished the game despite suffering an ankle injury and left the ground in a moon boot with a suspected syndesmosis injury.

"I thought they overcame that really well, Elliott [Whitehead] played really well in regard to having to play five-eighth, I thought he handled that change late very well," Stuart said of Williams late withdrawal. 

Stuart gave credit to Souths for the form they have been in and the style of play they exhibited.

But with seven set restarts to zero in favour of the Raiders, and a penalty count of 8-1 in favour of the Rabbitohs, Stuart said the balance was not there.

Aekins chimes in to send Rapana over

"This has been happening a lot to us this year, I look like a whinger, which I don’t really give a shit about," he said.

"But when you have a game when it’s 8-1 penalties, I just think that needs a discussion.

"The ruck was so slow tonight; I can’t believe it was only seven.

"I’m not being disrespectful to Souths, they’re playing good footy at the moment and I thought we equalled it and I was happy with a big part of our game." 


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