NRL grand final: Penrith’s Jaeman Salmon breaks silence on Canberra coach Ricky Stuart’s spray

Jaeman Salmon has broken his silence on Ricky Stuart’s ‘weak dog’ spray and said he was shocked and confused by the Canberra manager’s comments.

Salmon will come off the bench for Penrith in Sunday night’s NRL grand final against Parramatta, desperate to get the Stuart affair over with and focus on football.

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Shielded from the media since the incident last month, the Penrith provider said he was ridden by fans in the weeks that followed.

Stuart was eventually issued an unprecedented one-match ban and $25,000 fine for the comments, and he apologized for the forum where he made them.

At the time, the Raiders coach claimed he had a history with Salmon, with suggestions going back to a family affair from Cronulla’s junior days.

Jaeman Salmon was shocked by Ricky Stuart’s comments. Recognition: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

But Salmon said he was completely caught off guard by the whole affair.

“It was a bit of a shock,” Salmon told AAP.

“I’ve never heard that before. But I’m not worried about that now.

“The club has always supported me and every player in such positions. I can’t thank the club enough.

“That’s in the past and I’m just concentrating on the grand finals this week. Winning it would be a very good feeling.”

Salmon said he also noted the great support from his family, who claimed their son hadn’t spoken to Stuart since he was 12.

At the time, Penrith also threatened to take legal action, a step that is still possible.

But for now, Salmon is determined to repay the Panthers for their support.

He was given his first NRL chance as a Cronulla junior by Brad Arthur and the Eels and made his debut at the club in 2018.

He ran into trouble off the field in 2019 but stayed with the Eels until the end of the 2020 season.

Jaeman Salmon training ahead of the NRL Grand Final. Recognition: Markus Kolbe/Getty Images

He is the only ex-Parramatta player in Penrith’s squad for this weekend, with Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Waqa Blake, Bryce Cartwright and Maika Sivo all going the other way.

“I’ve grown quite a bit as a player (since I left Parramatta),” said Salmon.

“I’ve matured a lot in the past few years. I cannot thank the coaching staff here at Penrith enough.

“I talk to the Parra guys every now and then, a great bunch of guys. I really enjoyed my time there and the club is made up of good people.

“It just didn’t work out there, but I still have some good relationships with the guys.”

With AAP

Mitchell Moses’ controversial forward pass.

Mitchell Moses’ controversial forward pass. NRL grand final: Penrith’s Jaeman Salmon breaks silence on Canberra coach Ricky Stuart’s spray

James Brien

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