Kan­ga­roos taunt Ben­nett

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Lon­don: Aus­tralian play­ers have joined Mal Meninga in taunt­ing Wayne Ben­nett, whose Bris­bane star Sam Thai­day won­dered aloud af­ter the Four Na­tions opener if the Eng­land coach would “sneak out the back door” should he lose the se­ries. Speak­ing af­ter they opened the tour­na­ment with a 54-12 win over Scot­land at Hull’s Craven Park, half­back Cooper Cronk also made a veiled ref­er­ence to Ben­nett only tak­ing the Eng­land post to prove he should not have been over­looked in favour of Meninga by Aus­tralia. The ap­par­ent en­mity be­tween Ben­nett and the su­per­star he dis­cov­ered in a po­lice academy four decades ago gath­ered steam on Satur­day when Meninga wrote in a news­pa­per col­umn the pair were not friends and that the Bron­cos coach was try­ing to un­der­mine him. “Hope­fully we can send Wayne back to Bris­bane with his tail be­tween his legs – he might sneak out the back door again, who know?” Thai­day said af­ter Aus­tralia’s 10-try romp.

Af­ter be­ing in con­trol of the first Aus­tralian side to lose a se­ries to any­one in 28 years at the 2005 Tri-Na­tions, Ben­nett took a back door exit from im­mi­gra­tion upon his ar­rival back in Bris­bane, later say­ing he re­gret­ted his de­ci­sion. Asked about Meninga’s at­tacks on Ben­nett since the teams ar­rived in Bri­tain – the Aus­tralian coach said “he wants my job” at Manch­ester Air­port - Mel­bourne’s Cronk com­mented: “You know and I know there’s ob­vi­ously some­thing there. Thai­day de­nied be­ing a Bris­bane player placed him in an awk­ward po­si­tion be­com­ing in­volved in what is be­com­ing a very pub­lic spat be­tween two of Queens­land rugby league’s most revered fig­ures. “Wayne knows me – I’ve been giv­ing him stick for many, many years now,” Thai­day said.

At 20-0 af­ter 15 min­utes, re­porters were scour­ing the record books for the World Cup hold­ers’ big­gest-ever wins but Scot­land stead­ied the ship enough to pre­vent a cricket score. AUS­TRALIA 54 (Cooper Cronk 2, Josh Man­sour 2, Blake Fer­gu­son, James Maloney, Josh Du­gan, Tyson Frizell, Michael Mor­gan, Jake Tr­bo­je­vic tries; James Maloney 7 goals) beat SCOT­LAND 12 (Ryan Bri­er­ley, Ben Ka­vanagh tries; Danny Brough 2 goals) at Craven Park. Ref­eree: Ben Thaler (Eng­land). Crowd: 5,337. - Sun Her­ald

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