GF ref weighs in on bitter Cleary-Bennett feud

2 weeks ago 22
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The whistleblower acceptable to referee Sunday's NRL expansive final, Gerard Sutton, has weighed successful connected the hostility lingering betwixt Panthers manager Ivan Cleary and Rabbitohs mentor Wayne Bennett.

The 2 coaches are acceptable to pb their respective sides successful the decider conscionable 3 weeks aft they engaged successful a bristling warfare of words implicit a speech Bennett had had with the referees department.

The tense back-and-forth reached its climax pursuing South Sydney's 16-10 qualifying last decision of Penrith, erstwhile Bennett deed backmost astatine Cleary's accusation that helium had tried to "manipulate" the officials.

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As Sutton closes successful connected officiating his seventh NRL expansive final, helium said it was communal for coaches to person dialog with the referees department.

Penrith manager Ivan Cleary (left), expansive last referee Gerard Sutton (centre) and South Sydney mentor Wayne Bennett. (Getty)

However, helium added that what the coaches raised had small interaction connected however referees officiated games.

"I don't deliberation it's antithetic (for coaches to attack the referees department). I deliberation each week, astir apt each game, coaches from clubs are making enquiries astir decisions and rulings and interpretations. And there's ever antithetic things trending successful the game," Sutton said connected 2GB's Wide World of Sports radio.

"But our coaches enactment arsenic filters to that, I suppose, and we don't truly person nonstop interaction oregon dialog with the coaches. We beryllium connected the radical that are successful complaint of our radical to springiness america the wide absorption and what we request to beryllium doing ... So for me, personally, I don't deliberation it has a immense power astatine all."

Gould debunks Cleary 'manipulation' rhetoric

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Cleary said during his post-match media league pursuing the Panthers' 10-6 preliminary last triumph implicit the Storm connected Saturday night that, during the lead-up to the decider, helium would debar friction with Bennett.

"Wayne's the champion manager astir apt of each time, surely successful my memory," Cleary said.

"I'll beryllium doing what I'm bully astatine and staying successful the inheritance this week."

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