Salmon opens up on “weak-gutted dog” call ahead of Canberra return

Salmon opens up on “weak-gutted dog” call ahead of Canberra return

Panthers utility Jaeman Salmon is expecting a rowdy crowd in the nation’s capital next week in what will be his first game against the Raiders since being labeled a “weak dog” by Canberra coach Ricky Stuart.

Stuart was fined $25,000 and suspended for one game for his comments last year when he attacked Salmon over an incident with Raiders dummy-half Tom Starling.

Jaemon Salmon had one of his better games against Canberra last year, but the celebrations were cut short when he was criticized by Ricky Stuart. Photo: NRL Photos Source: Provided

The 24-year-old scored a try in what was his first start of the season and attracted plenty of unwanted attention after what was said, but he has moved on and is more concerned with helping the Panthers bounce back from their loss to the Eels.

“I haven’t thought about it since it happened last year,” an open and honest Salmon told the NCA NewsWire after Thursday’s Golden Point loss.

“It’s just another game for me. They’ll be loud down there, and that’s fine. The Raiders fans always rally around their team, so I’m ready for a big game. Hopefully we can go there and get the win.”

The insult hit the headlines after Sharks prop Royce Hunt hurled the same insult at Canberra’s Corey Horsburgh following an incident last week that saw the Cronulla forward sent to the sin bin for a foul.

Corey Horsburgh scored two tries to help Canberra to their first win of the season, but his antics on the pitch led to Royce Hunt calling him out with an unsavory insult. Photo: Mark Nolan/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

“I didn’t react at all because I didn’t really see it until someone told me about it,” Salmon said.

“He can say what he wants.”

Salmon is also happy for teammate Jarome Luai to say what he wants, hitting back at critics who chastised the pair for their on-camera debate at the end of their Round 1 loss to the Broncos.

Luai called out his teammate for not being where he needed him late in the contest, with Salmon admitting he was too tired to get there before other players came in to end the confrontation.

Salmon responded with a very strong 55-minute game on the left on Thursday night and said that kind of discussion shows the camaraderie in the west.

Jarome Luai and Salmon exchanged words in Round 1, but the Panthers utility says the backlash was way over the top. Photo: Channel 9 Source: Provided

“It was blown out of proportion. Conversations like this happen every bloody day at training. It was just unfortunate that it was caught on camera,” he said.

“That’s what teammates do, they hold each other accountable. If you don’t have those honest discussions, you can’t call yourself an honest teammate.

“I have always been confident with my fitness. That’s never been the problem, it’s been more about gel on that left side and I thought I did a lot better this time.”

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