Melbourne Storm 'file complaint' with NRL over Wayne Bennett act

Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy, pictured here in the NRL.
The Melbourne Storm are reportedly fuming at Wayne Bennett. Image: Getty

The Melbourne Storm have reportedly lodged an official complaint with the NRL over Wayne Bennett's recent comments about Cameron Munster.

The Dolphins are still without a marquee man for the 2023 season, and there's no secret that Bennett wants Munster to join the NRL's newest team.

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On Tuesday, Bennett said there was no need for panic and declared Munster a 50-50 chance of joining the Queensland side.

"We are keen to have Cameron at Redcliffe whether it is 2023 or 2024. We are working with his management," Bennett told Channel Nine.

"I'm not overly confident but I am not under confident either.

"There is a fair bit to be done yet, but we feel like we are headed in the right direction with our end of the bargain and hopefully Cameron will want to come."

However those comments have gone down like a lead balloon in Melbourne, with the Storm reportedly filing a complaint with the NRL that Bennett broke strict contract rules.

Munster remains contracted to the Storm for the 2023 season and Melbourne have made it clear he will not be released early.

NRL contracting rules state he can't be offered anything for the 2024 season until November 1, nor can he be lured to try and be released early.

“The Storm are outraged, lodging a formal complaint after Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins completely disregarded rules and attempted to poach one of their own players who is under contract – which is Cameron Munster," Michelle Bishop reported on SEN radio on Thursday.

“Bennett wants Cameron Munster, talk of them wanting Cameron Munster started after the Dolphins missed out on Kalyn Ponga.

“But the fact is, Munster is under contract next season and Bennett has blown it off as a non-issue.

“Melbourne even went direct to the Dolphins to put it in writing to them. They actually wrote, ‘Cameron Munster is not available for 2023… zero chance’.”

Cameron Munster, pictured here in action for the Melbourne Storm against the Warriors.
Cameron Munster in action for the Melbourne Storm against the Warriors. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

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Ponga recently joined Reed Mahoney, Brandon Smith, Harry Grant and Jahrome Hughes in spurning the Dolphins to sign elsewhere.

Grant and Hughes are staying at the Storm and the club is desperate to keep Munster as well.

"I was never going to get all the players I wanted, not all of them. And we lost some of them," Bennett told Channel Nine.

"But others we have got. I'm confident we will get there in the end. It's a process and I am happy to stay with the process."

The Dophins added Tom Gilbert to their roster on Tuesday, with the 21-year-old returning home from North Queensland after first starring as a teenager at Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup.

Tom Gilbert, pictured here in action for the Cowboys against the Gold Coast Titans.
Tom Gilbert in action for the Cowboys against the Gold Coast Titans. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Cowboys forward, who was the Q Cup's rookie and lock of the year in 2019, joins experienced forwards Felise Kaufusi, Ray Stone, Jesse and Kenny Bromwich at the Dolphins next season.

Gilbert's signing came about after he was released from the final year of his Cowboys deal on compassionate grounds.

"This is the hardest decision I've had to make in my life, which is why it has taken me this long," Gilbert said in a statement.

"I've been sitting on this for about four months, but it's time for me to go home and be with my family - they need me.

"It means I'm leaving a club that I love, but supporting my family will always come first."

with AAP

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