Ricky’s fury at Scott claims: ‘It p***es me off’
A shattered and angry Ricky Stuart has conceded "it pisses me off" to think Curtis Scott's alleged Australia Day antics could ultimately damage the dreams of an entire club, even before the star recruit plays a game for last year's grand finalists.
The Raiders were reeling on Monday after being hit with the news that Scott was facing six charges including claims he punched a policeman in the face after being woken in an intoxicated state while sleeping in bushes near the Sydney Cricket Ground.
It came after a boozy weekend in Sydney with several teammates, with Scott also said to be involved in an exchange with police when he was randomly drug searched twice while standing outside the Clovelly Hotel on Saturday night, although he had nothing in his possession.
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As the Raiders weigh up their options, it is possible they could even consider bringing in an outside recruit to replace Scott if he ultimately cops a lengthy ban from the NRL.
The Raiders do have available salary cap space to splash following Joey Leilua's departure to Wests Tigers over the weekend.
It means they could potentially afford to take on the Tigers for Adam Doueihi's signature, or one of the other excess backline players the Rabbitohs might be willing to offload.
The most likely scenario would be for Nick Cotric or Michael Oldfield to take Scott's spot at right centre with the other playing on the wing.
Despite having a checkered past, Scott was brought up from Melbourne in a move that was always going to force Leilua out.
But right now it appears like it could backfire on the club immediately after their most successful season in 25 years.
Chief executive Don Furner could not be contacted last night but Furner has a proven record for making tough decisions that are in the club's best interests, and holding players accountable for their actions is at the top of his priorities.
Think Todd Carney, Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson, who were all let go by the Raiders in seasons past, because they were deemed to have damaged the club's reputation.
Scott signed a four-year deal at the Raiders for a reported $1.8 million.
Officers were called to Driver Ave at Moore Park at about 12.45am on Monday following reports Scott was acting erratically.
It is claimed police attempted to assist Scott but he became aggressive, kicking and punching one of the officers before he was tasered and locked up at Surry Hills.
It wasn't until just after 9.30am before Stuart was alerted of the alleged incident.
Scott was also accused of throwing his phone at a passing vehicle when he couldn't get a cab.
That is why he apparently couldn't contact the club but called his parents who picked him up from the police station on Monday midmorning.
Stuart was trying his best not to let his emotions get the better of him when The Daily Telegraph spoke to him soon after he was alerted.
It's no secret Stuart has always been a coach that would go to great lengths to defend his players.
But on this occasion he was understandably shaken.
"It pisses me off, quote me on that," Stuart said.
"But I don't want to comment on anything outside that until I hear the full story. I have to know the facts first and I haven't heard Curtis's side of the story.
"But you create your own hurdles, don't you?"
Stuart said he was aware that several of his players including Scott, John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, George Williams, Jack Murchie and Ryan Sutton had all travelled to Sydney with Scott to enjoy the long weekend but trusted them to do the right thing.
Depending on what is proven when Scott fronts Downing Centre Local Court on February 20, there is every chance he could escape with a bond and a fine even if he is found guilty.
But it is feared the NRL's judgment could be much more severe given past decisions including what happened with Mitchell Pearce a few years ago with the poodle and even Scott's new Raiders teammate Jack Wighton just last year.
While these allegations are not serious enough to warrant Scott being banned immediately via the NRL's no fault stand down policy, Wighton was ultimately suspended for 10 weeks after he was found guilty of assault following a drunken night out in Canberra.
Wighton was also fined $30,000 by the NRL.
It is hard to see how these allegations involving an attack on a police officer will be viewed any less serious if Scott is found guilty in court.