Bennett breaks silence over feud with Brown
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has spoken for the first time on his so-called feud with Nathan Brown, saying the matter was resolved and that he had paid no attention to the media storm created by his Knights rival's comments.
Speaking to NRL.com in Auckland on the eve of Saturday's clash with the Warriors, Bennett was quick to hose down the feud, going as far as to say he wasn't even aware of what Brown said in the press conference following Newcastle's 15-10 win.
However, Bennett did say "It wasn't my doing. He has to live with it, I don't have to" in reference to Brown's post-match press conference. Brown took aim at Bennett last Saturday night, suggesting he should have ''thought with his big head rather than his little head'' during his stint at the Knights.
Brown was responding to comments made by Bennett in relation to the roster moves Brown has made since taking over from Bennett in 2016.
The Newcastle coach's comments got plenty of attention in the media and the NRL fan base, but not the man himself.
''My original comments were that he had let a lot of players go there [at Newcastle], but at the same time he had rebuilt the club,'' Bennett said.
''That's what I said. After that, I don't know what he said. I didn't see or read anything to be honest with you.''
Bennett confirmed Brown had been in touch with him following his infamous press conference and said he did not harbour any ill feelings.
''He did ring me, but it was settled before that,'' he said.
''It wasn't my doing. He has to live with it, I don't have to.
''I thought that was our best 80 minutes of the year last week and they played well, the Knights, that was the sad thing about it all with the media at home.
''What we are here for is to play football and nobody left talking about what a quality game it was. All the headlines were about Nathan's comments. It defies logic with me, but that's the way it is I suppose.
''We will move forward. It hasn't been a distraction for us.''
While the off-field feud might not have been a distraction for Bennett, his teams growing injury list certainly has given him plenty to think about.
With Jordan Kahu already sidelined, the Broncos lost two more stars in as many days with Matt Gillett (neck fractures) and Kodi Nikorima (corked thigh) late withdrawals for the clash with the Warriors.
The loss of Nikorima means Jack Bird will move into the halves and Tom Opacic has been elevated into the vacant centre spot. Sam Tagataese has been promoted from the reserves to the interchange bench.
Brisbane's halves have come under fire recently, but Bennett anticipated Bird would grab his opportunity with two hands alongside Anthony Milford.
''I think Jack will handle it very well,'' he said.
''It's a great opportunity for him to move a bit closer to the ball. He's a footballer.''