Wayne Bennett responds after Robert Jennings moment leaves NRL world stunned

The Dolphins winger refused to score a simple try in one of the most extraordinary blunders the NRL has seen.

Wayne Bennett, pictured here after Robert Jennings' inexplicable brain fade.
Wayne Bennett couldn't explain Robert Jennings' brain fade. Image: Fox Sports/NRL

Wayne Bennett was just as stunned as everyone else after Robert Jennings produced one of the most baffling brain fades in NRL history on Sunday. Jennings scored two tries as the Dolphins equalled the biggest comeback in premiership history to beat the Gold Coast Titans 28-26 after trailing 26-0.

However it was an extraordinary mishap from Jennings that was the talk of the NRL world after the game, after the Dolphins winger refused to score what should have been an easy try in the second half. With the Dolphins trailing 26-18, Jennings appeared destined to cut the lead even further when Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow caught a bomb and passed to his unmarked winger.

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Jennings had an unchecked passage to the try line from 10 metres out, but stumbled and hit the deck just one metre out. With no Titans players around him, the winger could have simply reached out and put the ball over the line - and even had enough time to get back to his feet and potentially score closer to the posts.

But in inexplicable scenes, Jennings remained on the ground and simply waited for Tanah Boyd to complete the tackle - seemingly refusing to score for no reason at all. Commentators and fans were left completely stunned, with Jennings also appearing confused as to what he'd done.

“What’s happened? What happened to Jennings. That was the changeover," Warren Smith said in commentary for Fox Sports.

“I’ve never seen the like of it. He stumbled then didn’t get up to continue running. Robert! I can’t imagine what he was thinking." Steve Roach added: “Why didn’t he get up and keep going there?”

When asked in his post-match press conference for an explanation, Bennett said: “No, I don’t know...I thought he was worried about the double movement, but he hadn’t got to the try line yet."

He then asked captain Jesse Bromwich: "Jesse was out there, what did you think?" Bromwich replied: “I’ve never seen anything like that. That was a brain explosion.

“I thought he was better this week other than that little mistake. He put himself in the game a bit more coming out of trouble. He has got a really strong carry and the confidence to go and attack after making a mistake like that was really good.”

Robert Jennings, pictured here scoring two tries as the Dolphins came back to beat the Titans.
Robert Jennings scored two tries as the Dolphins came back to beat the Titans. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

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Thankfully for Jennings he managed to cross not long after for his second try of the afternoon, before Euan Aitken scored with five minutes left to complete the comeback. "I always think it is possible. I never doubted that," Bennett said when asked whether he believed his team could defy the odds and win.

"They showed some wonderful qualities. They had to. They put themselves in that place. I was obviously pleased with that.

“Just the way they went out there and regrouped themselves in the second half and played the whole 40 minutes of the second half. It was excellent. It was a complete contrast to the first half. We fixed our second halves up today, but now we have to fix the first half up.”

Titans coach Justin Holbrook was left absolutely shattered, one week after his side gave up 33 points in the second-half against the Broncos. "I am extremely disappointed," he said. "We can't have that continue. We have to be able to change momentum when things aren't going our way."

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