Wayne Bennett has sparked new uproar over the standard of refereeing—and the role of the officiating Bunker—in the NRL, with the supercoach slamming the “overall fairness” of the competition’s adjudication.

Bennett, who has been coaching top-flight rugby league since 1976 when he took the reigns of the Souths Logan Magpies as player-coach, declared his frustrations around how the game is refereed have been growing for some time. While speaking to Fox Sports this week, he warned something has to change, and quickly.

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“If I was a punter I couldn’t bet a penny on rugby league at the moment,” he said, before admitting his declaration is definitely going to “cause him some grief” with the NRL officials once they read the news.

“But,” he continued, “I have to stand up for the players and the game I have spent my whole life being a part of and loving.

“We can’t hide and pretend it is not a problem because it is a problem. It is causing massive frustration, not just with the players and coaches, but the fans. People always go on about consistency. I know how hard consistency is. What I want is fairness for every team.

“I want to know we are all getting a fair shake out there.”

Bennett has blown up over “unfairness” in the standard of #NRL refereeing and the Bunker

The supercoach has declared: “If I was a punter, I couldn’t bet a penny on rugby league. It's causing massive frustration, not just with players and coaches, but the fans.”

(via @FOXNRL) pic.twitter.com/pRQJVFSzs3

— The Sporting Base – NRL (@BaseNrl) June 28, 2024

The Dolphins coach’s breaking point came while watching State of Origin’s second game on Wednesday night. He had seen several head-high tackles not called in his club match last Friday against the Melbourne Storm, only to then see the exact same tackles penalised several times by Ashley Klein in the code’s biggest arena.

“This is where I get confused because in a game played five days before you can’t get a penalty for illegal contact to the head,” the 74-year-old coach said. “Five days later under the same set of rules, they get penalties and the game goes on.”

Many NRL fans on social media have already agreed with Bennett, with some calling the officiating “corrupt” and others praising Bennett.

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The NRL has yet to respond to Bennett’s explosive tirade, but The Sporting Base expects the Redcliffe boss to cop a hefty fine for his comments when they are picked up at NRL HQ.

The post Bennett blows up over NRL refereeing: ‘We can’t hide and pretend it’s not a problem’ first appeared on The Sporting Base.

The post Bennett blows up over NRL refereeing: ‘We can’t hide and pretend it’s not a problem’ appeared first on The Sporting Base.