Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has slammed the Queensland Government following the club’s latest setback, with the Raiders’ preparations “compromised”.
The squad were set to check into a Brisbane hotel early on Friday, with their request blocked ahead of their preliminary final against Melbourne on Friday.
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The Raiders and the NRL had been in contact with the state government in order to reach the 3pm deadline on Wednesday to gain the all-clear.
“The NRL have been trying to get in communication with the Queensland Government for the last three weeks to get this arranged and ticked off,” Stuart said during a press conference on Thursday.
“The Queensland Government got back in touch with them yesterday afternoon.
“We needed all the protocols to go through by close of business yesterday at 3pm… It hasn’t eventuated.”
Stuart reframed from going into greater detail, but expressed his disappointment.
“Typical of the Queensland Government at the moment,” he added.
When asked if the setback will effect the squad’s preparation, Stuart said it’s something the club has dealt with all year.
“It wont effect us, it hasn’t all year.”
“It’s just another punch in the head we’ve copped in the week leading up to a game, you’ve just got to make do with what you’ve been drawn, we’ve had that all season.
“I can’t be more pleased with how this whole squad have handled this situation and where we’ve needed up so far this season and we’ve still got more in us.
“From the Canberra Raiders point of view, no team has had the magnitude of this type of challenge for 12 months.
“Its no-one’s fault, its just the challenge we’ve had as we’re an out-of-town team, its been a really, really difficult season.
The Raiders boss commanded his players’ attitude to this year.
“These guys are tough individuals and that’s why we’re here, they haven’t let it disturb the processes for us to get to the game, they haven’t let it disturb their preparation.
“It hasn’t been the best preparation, but they have been mentally tough enough to get thorough it and get onto the field.
“There’s never a game that they’re not competing in, thats what makes me proud as their coach.”