NRL won’t act on Brown’s Bennett sledge
Posted on 04/25/20 7:44 PM
Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has launched a stunning verbal attack on Wayne Bennett.The NRL will not sanction Newcastle coach Nathan Brown for his vicious personal sledge at Brisbane counterpart Wayne Bennett.
A war of words erupted between Brown and Bennett following Newcastle’s 15-10 win over the Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
Responding to match-eve comments made by Bennett, who suggested Brown has been forced to rebuild the Knights because he had mismanaged their roster, Brown let rip.
“The reality is when Wayne came to town, if he thought with his big head rather than his little head, I wouldn’t have had to rebuild the joint,” Brown said.
Some of the game’s leading names, including Paul Gallen, Laurie Daley and Peter Sterling, came out on Sunday to criticise Bennett for the disastrous state he left Newcastle following his departure after the 2014 NRL season.
Brown on Sunday refused to back away from his comments when interviewed on Triple M radio but said he regretted it had absorbed the attention following what he said was the best win in his time at the club.
Brown’s comments seemingly made light of the breakdown of Bennett’s 42-year marriage to former wife Trish.
Bennett met his current partner, Dale Cage, during his three-year stint at the Knights where she worked as a receptionist to the club’s doctor.
AAP understands the governing body will not take action against Brown.
Brown’s comments will only inflame tensions between the sides but they’re not drawn to meet each other again this year and will not get to settle the score unless they face off in the finals.
Bennett’s detractors have long accused him of leaving the club in a disarray following his sudden exit in 2014.
While Bennett took the Knights to within one game of the preliminary final in 2013, they collected three consecutive wooden spoons in the years after he left for his second stint at the Broncos.
Sterling and Gallen said Brown’s comments had overstepped the mark but his criticism of Bennett’s legacy at the Knights had merit.
“He could have hammered Wayne Bennett about how he left the club because that’s true,” Gallen told the Nine Network.
“I’m friends with (Newcastle head of football) Darren Mooney. He said the way the place was left, the contracts that were in place were just ridiculous, deals were back-ended, players were on money they shouldn’t have been on.”
Sterling said on the Nine Network: “I speak to a lot of Newcastle fans and spend a lot of time in Newcastle and they were filthy the way Wayne Bennett left, the way the club was left.
“Wayne did not leave the club in a good position. The system, the roster, the contracts and that, it was a mess.”
Daley said Bennett left the club in a “bad shape” and it had taken Brown years to lift them out of the “doldrums”.