Wayne Bennett has hit back at the Sydney Roosters after their criticism of South Sydney playmaker Cody Walker, calling them “immature”.
Walker was labelled “disrespectful” by Rooster Luke Keary for sledging during the Rabbitohs’ 26-16 round-one NRL victory over the defending premiers.
Walker and Roosters star Cooper Cronk exchanged unpleasantries late in the second half, prompting a minor melee between the rival clubs.
“I don’t know what all the noise was about. What I know sledging to be, that wasn’t sledging,” Bennett said on Wednesday.
“There’s three key words we use today, mate: Leadership, disrespectful and consistency. And most of the time it wasn’t disrespectful.
“It’s two guys having a go at each other, simple as that.”
Earlier this week, Keary, a member of the Rabbitohs’ premiership side in 2014, said it was merely how Walker “plays the game”.
The Roosters five-eighth also said Walker’s comments could come back to haunt him, but Bennett believed the reaction was excessive.
“It’s the immaturity we have in the game today,” Bennett said.
“The man psyche is, ‘Get off the field, forget about it and move on with life.’ Some of the boys just don’t grow up early enough any more.”
Pressed on whether he addressed the issue with Walker, Bennett said: “Haven’t said a word to him. I’m not going to waste my time talking about rubbish.”