Bennett furious over “deliberate” hit
St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett branded deliberate a late challenge from Manly’s Jason King on Dragons centre Kyle Stanley in a fiery NRL clash at WIN Stadium.
With old enemies Mark Gasnier and Steve Matai having already clashed twice and two players also being placed on report, it was King’s apparent use of a knee to nudge Stanley after the second of his two tries in the 67th minute that infuriated Bennett.
“Of course it was intentional,” Bennett said.
“It was ridiculous to think it was unintentional.
“Kyle had put the ball down and had run four or five metres and someone comes and makes a collision with him.
“That’s about as deliberate as you are going to get anything.”
Stanley appeared to suffer only a minor injury in the incident, but Bennett believes action should have been taken.
“I was really disappointed with the action the referees took,” he said.
” … That’s why you don’t want those things happening in a game because tomorrow it could be someone else and all of sudden he’s got an injury and he’s off the ground.
“That’s why the rules are what they are.”
Stand-in Dragons captain Nathan Fien questioned the referees on the field but was told contact was “accidental”.
King, whose action is now likely to be scrutinised by the NRL’s match review committee, defended the incident.
“I was running through trying to stop him getting any closer to the posts,” King said.
“I didn’t intentionally do anything.
“He collided with my outside leg. It’s not my responsibility to get out of his way.
“There are no hard feelings. They are entitled to have their opinion.”
Bennett’s anger overshadowed the other boiling points in a physical battle in Wollongong.
Matai and Gasnier first clashed when the Kiwi international was placed on report for a swinging arm on Dragons winger Jason Nightingale in the 24th minute.
Fien had earlier been placed on report for a high shot on Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart in the 19th.
Manly co-captain Jamie Lyon said he didn’t think there was much in Matai’s hit.
“From where I was it looked like it got him in the back,” Lyon said.© AAP 2013
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