Cranky Wayne blasts media over Lodge ’agenda’
BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has taken aim at Australian media and declared it's not his place to intervene in Matt Lodge's ongoing compensation battle with a New York family.
Bennett is livid at recent media coverage of Lodge, which has centred on a violent rampage in New York in 2015 where he terrorised a family and a young woman.
It's been widely reported Lodge has failed to begin paying off a $1.6 million compensation bill ordered by a US court.
Despite this he has had a contract registered by the NRL and will make his Broncos debut on Thursday night against the Dragons.
A large faction of the rugby league and wider community has slammed the NRL and the Broncos for choosing to bring Lodge - who also pleaded guilty to assaulting a former girlfriend - back into the game.
But Bennett is adamant Lodge has done enough to earn another shot at a professional football career.
And he was testy when fronting the media scrum at Red Hill on Wednesday.
"What I can't understand is he's been here for 15 months now, you've all seen him here, you knew he signed a contract to play here, and all of a sudden a fortnight off the season you're making national news and headlines and nothing but massive amounts of criticism," Bennett said.
"Where was it the last 18 months? Where have you all been hiding?
"That's the part I'm disappointed about.
"You've got your agenda guys. You know that, I know that, I don't know where it all started but it did. It wouldn't have made any difference."