Canberra head coach Ricky Stuart has spoken to his playing group after a controversial Instagram post from Tapine’s wife, though he has denied a rift between himself and the loose-forward.
Following the Raiders’ fourth-straight loss, Kirsten Tapine took to Instagram to question Stuart’s coaching calls, Fox Sports has reported.
Stuart found out and, according to The Daily Telegraph’s Steve Crawley and Paul Kent, addressed the issue and denied rumours of a rift between he and Tapine.
“There was a bit of talk that there was a confrontation between Ricky Stuart and Joe Tapine but I spoke to Rick about it today and he said ‘not true’,” Crawley said.
“I think it was addressed in a team meeting and they had another meeting, I think Ricky had a meeting with Joe this morning just about the football side of things.”
The Instagram post divided opinion, with some fans backing the criticism and others claiming it wasn’t the right thing to do.
“He went into a meeting with the entire team and he said ‘this club is bigger than one social media post’,” Kent said.
“The whole message that gets driven out of Canberra is that the club is bigger than any individual.
“The message to Joe Tapine and also Josh Papali’i is that ‘you guys need to get your house in order because you haven’t been playing well.’
“While you’ve got to admire the devotion of a wife sticking by her guy, the fact is (Tapine) hasn’t been playing well and that was what this morning’s meeting was about: ‘mate get your footy in order and you’ll get some time on the field. It’s as simple as that’.”
Canberra take on Newcastle at the weekend, hoping to stem the losing tide as they sit in ninth on the NRL ladder.