Gould rips 'manipulation' call hurled at Bennett

3 days ago 4
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Legendary rugby league manager Phil Gould has changeable down Ivan Cleary's gruff telephone of Wayne Bennett trying to "manipulate" the referees section during the lead-up to the finals.

The verbal stoush betwixt Panthers manager Cleary and Rabbitohs mentor Bennett roared backmost to life pursuing South Sydney's tense qualifying last triumph implicit Penrith connected Saturday night.

Cleary had discovered that, aft the mid-August Panthers-Rabbitohs clash, Bennett approached the referees department, claiming Penrith had utilized artifact plays to support halfback Nathan Cleary.

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The Penrith manager deed backmost successful an interrogation with the Sydney Morning Herald past week, accusing South Sydney defenders of launching amerciable assaults connected the prima playmaker.

But Cleary saved his astir explosive ammunition for his media league aft his side's qualifying last defeat, claiming Bennett had tried to "manipulate" referees successful his backstage meeting.

Panthers manager Ivan Cleary (left), rugby league guru Phil Gould (middle) and Rabbitohs mentor Wayne Bennett. (Getty)

Bennett struck backmost successful his media conference, defending his attack to the referees section and slamming Cleary for exposing the dialog to the public.

In effect to Cleary's inflammatory call-out, Gould revealed his standpoint connected Nine's 100% Footy, saying coaches speaking with the referees section is thing caller and that coaches should beryllium doing it.

"This has been going connected since Adam played," Gould said.

"Coaches getting to referee bosses oregon referees during the week to get mentation of what happened earlier ...

"There were immoderate aged masters backmost successful the time and they'd each accidental ... So if they were playing the Panthers this week (they'd beryllium saying), 'Look astatine what they've been doing erstwhile weeks and you're letting them get distant with this', 'Look what you're doing', 'Look what you're doing with this', 'Well you've got to beryllium pulling this up'.

"And what Ivan said aft the crippled was that a fig of his players were chipped connected the run: 'Watch this, ticker this, ticker this'.

"So someone's worded them up, someone's worded the referee up, which could person travel retired of the Bennett presumption to the referee, which helium admits that helium did 3 weeks ago.

"But they each bash it, everyone does it. If you're not doing it you're not competitive."

Gould defends Bennett arsenic coaches tee off

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Another furniture to the saga is the mysterious leak to Cleary, which erstwhile Sharks skipper Paul Gallen has weighed successful on.

"I accidental if you're going to the NRL arsenic a manager ... past it should beryllium confidential," Gallen said.

But helium backed up his presumption with reality.

"I don't deliberation there's excessively overmuch that goes to the NRL that's not leaked."

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