Ricky Stuart - take a bow

Alright, we all know the headline.

It is silly season in the NRL, this is normally the time of the year that NRL & club executives brace for an avalanche of nasty headlines on the back page of the papers with players behaving badly.

This one has a different feel about it.

Everything I've seen from Tom Starling has been first-class.

Now obviously none of us were there and we've only got a bit of vision to rely on, but Starling denies throwing any punches and evidently copped a bit of punishment based on the photos he released online.

Let's not go into the full accusations, a quick summary, Starling has been alleged to reach for an officer's gun during a scuffle but was reportedly unaware he was engaging with police officers as a number of them were in plain clothes.

Again, it's alleged, the scuffle broke out after a bouncer made a rude comment to his brother about Starling's mother.

Like any bloke would, Starling leapt to the defense of his brother and his mother, seems reasonable.

Anyways, I am sure all of that will get sorted out pretty quickly.

What I really liked about this?

Ricky Stuart.

Old Sticky Stuart spoke with Starling at length on Sunday and then publicly backed his young Hooker, Stuart confirming he's one of the best coaches and mentors we've got in sport.

Stuart backed Starling's character and then confirmed that Starling's version of events, if truthful, were vastly different to what had been made public.

How's this from Ricky... “Defending his mother and his brother is something that I was obviously OK with. If he didn’t jump in to defend his brother and mother, I probably would be more disappointed in the guy.”

Ricky Stuart supported his young player - you love to see it.

We've got the Jack de Belin stuff going on, Jarryd Hayne's been in court. Let's just hope this goes away quickly.

Don't get me wrong, if Starling's done something unlawful, then he should be punished, but you just love what Ricky Stuart has done here, standing by his young player in a difficult time and trusting his version of events.

Ricky Stuart, he's a good guy.

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