SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Raiders Coach, Ricky Stuart speaks during the NRL Grand Final Press Conference at the Westin Hotel on October 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

An incident in the 21st minute of Penrith’s win over Canberra has drawn the ire of Ricky Stuart and resulted in him branding Panthers interim five-eighth Jaeman Salmon a “weak-gutted dog”.

The moment in question occurred with the Panthers in possession after Salmon had been tackled by Raiders utility Tom Starling.

From his position on his ground, Salmon lashed out at Starling with his feet, connecting with the Raider’s groin area before also connecting with his head as he fell to the ground.

Though the incident was placed on report, Stuart added unexpected context to the incident, claiming he has a history of these kinds of incidents with Salmon stretching all the way back to his days as a youth player, and singling out Salmon's character for vilification.

“I’ve had history with that kid, I know that kid very well,” Stuart said of Salmon in the post-match press conference.

“He was a weak-gutted dog as a kid, and he hasn’t changed now. He’s a weak-gutted dog person now.”

Salmon played his junior football for De La Salle Caringbah and came through the Sharks junior ranks. He then moved to the Eels, making his NRL debut in 2018. He's played every game for Penrith this year.

It was a disappointing night for Stuart’s men, despite getting off to the perfect start thanks to a Josh Papalii try. They didn’t trouble the scorers for the rest of the night as the Panthers cruised to victory, barely skipping a beat despite the absence of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai.

No doubt adding to Stuart’s frustration, Salmon capped off the evening with a solo try through soft defence, putting the result beyond doubt.

Despite the result, Canberra are still just two points outside the top eight with four games to play.