Cameron Munster's agent Braith Anasta has provided fresh details around the infamous disagreement with master coach Wayne Bennett, over the NRL star's decision to snub the Dolphins. Munster was a highly-prized target to join Bennett's Dolphins but the Storm star ultimately took a much less lucrative offer to remain in Melbourne.
Bennett and the Dolphins had worked hard on persuading Munster to make the move to Redcliffe and become the first marquee signing of the NRL's newest club. The Dolphins tabled a massive four-year offer worth $5.6 million, with Munster all set to join Bennett's side until a late change of heart saw him settle on a new deal at the Storm worth around $1.6 million less.
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Munster informed his manager Anasta and the Storm about the decision before boarding a plane for England as part of Australia's victorious World Cup squad. Speaking on NRL 360 on Wednesday night, Anasta said the talented playmaker had planned on ringing Bennett to inform him of the decision when he landed in England, but the veteran coach got wind of it before then and launched a stinging tirade at Munster.
Bennett accused the Storm playmaker of "dodging" his calls and suggested he wasn't man enough to speak to the veteran coach himself. "If you want to be a man then you've got to behave like one and (not) have your manager ring up and tell (us) you're not coming," Bennett said at the time.
The messy saga drove a wedge between the veteran coach and Storm superstar, who both played key roles in Queensland's State of Origin series triumph in 2020. Anasta explained the chain of events that led to the ugly fallout between the pair, who are set to square off against one another on Saturday, when the Dolphins host the Storm.
New details in Wayne Bennett's blow up at Cam Munster
“Cameron had rung me after the grand final, made the Australian team and he said to me ‘listen, I want to win premierships and I want to stay loyal to the Melbourne Storm’,” Anasta said on NRL 360. “He loved the place and just decided he wanted to stay, then we had to ring Melbourne and give them the respect that they’d secured their one-club player.
“Give them time to celebrate and put the press release out that he’d re-signed, they announced it themselves. The worry for us was if we told Wayne or Cameron rang Wayne before Melbourne, then they would put a story out and we wanted to respect Melbourne and their time.
“Then anyway Cameron is on the way to the airport, I said to him ‘don’t ring Wayne before you go through customs, ring him either after you go through customs or when you land’. Because we want to give Melbourne the right to announce it and we don’t want to risk it leaking through Wayne, and let’s be fair it probably would have.
“Cameron didn’t ring him before he got on the plane... he had every intention of ringing him as soon as he landed. He’s on the flight over there and Wayne just loads up the semi-automatic and goes bang, he questions Cameron’s integrity - which was wrong.
“Cameron was disappointed because he loves him.. it was unnecessary because Cameron respects him and loves the guy and was always going to call him, he gave him 24 hours. It was a drama that didn’t need to be there and obviously Wayne was upset because he’d missed out on a few players.”
Munster said in January he was disappointed by Bennett's spray and had no plans to contact the veteran coach in the future. “I just didn’t like the way they went about it and probably threw my name in the media — I was pretty disrespected — and saying I wasn’t man enough to ring him. I had every intention to but after those comments we felt like it was in our best interest to just leave it alone.” Anasta suggested the pair have spoken since.
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