The Courier-Mail

Panthers call for end to post-match in­ter­views

- DEAN RITCHIE Sports · Canberra

PANTHERS chair­man Dave O’Neill has con­tro­ver­sially called for all NRL post-match press con­fer­ences in­volv­ing coaches to be banned, in the wake of Ivan Cleary’s $20,000 fine for ques­tion­ing the in­tegrity of match of­fi­cials.

Pen­rith has been left reel­ing from the hefty fine handed out to Cleary on

Mon­day, with the coach re­veal­ing he will re­spond to the breach no­tice.

But O’Neill be­lieves Cleary (pic­tured) should never have been put in that po­si­tion in the first place, ar­gu­ing post-match press con­fer­ences leave coaches vul­ner­a­ble to emo­tional out­bursts. In­stead he wants me­dia in­ter­views with coaches held 24 hours af­ter a game, to al­low them time to col­lect their thoughts and also en­joy dress­ing room cel­e­bra­tions with vic­to­ri­ous s play­ers.

“If you don’t t want coaches to com­ment — and if you don’t like emo- tional re­sponses — then don’t have the h i in­ter­views,” O’Neill said.

“If you want to have af­ter-game in­ter­views that are more struc­tured, then h hold them a day af­ter t the game. The re­al­ity is they are done in the heat of the mo­ment.” At the post-match p press con­fer­ence, held just 15 min­utes af­ter full time of his side’s 28-12 win over Can­berra on Satur­day night, Cleary al­leged Can­berra was “man­aged back into the game” by ref­eree Gerard Sut­ton in the sec­ond half af­ter the Raiders trailed 24-0.

ARL Com­mis­sion chair­man Peter V’landys slammed Cleary’s com­ments as “de­plorable”, which pre­ceded the $20,000 breach no­tice is­sued on Mon­day.

“If peo­ple want to cri­tique the coaches and be crit­i­cal then don’t have them (in­ter­viewed) straight af­ter the game,” O’Neill said.

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