KICKOFF: Wayne’s spray misses mark

MISSED THE MARK: Wayne Bennett's spray at the media ahead of Matt Lodge's NRL return was missed its target. Picture: AAP

MISSED THE MARK: Wayne Bennett's spray at the media ahead of Matt Lodge's NRL return was missed its target. Picture: AAP

MOST people have already made up their minds when it comes to Matthew Lodge’s NRL return on Thursday night.

Some feel he should never have been allowed to return. Others feel he’s done his penance and deserves another chance. This column is making no such judgement either way, but what’s been glaring is the way the Broncos have mishandled the situation.

St George Illawarra Dragons faced much of the same criticism when they threw Packer a career lifeline, but there were huge differences in how they handled it.

Packer did wide-ranging interviews with Fairfax and News Corp. before the NRL rubber-stamped his return. He also did another open media session prior to his first trial. By the time he did media again just prior to round one, the press contingent was half the size – it had all been said.

On Wednesday, Wayne Bennett chose to blast the media for running agendas asking “where have you all been hiding?” as he questioned the timing of the stories and headlines. Sorry Wayne, it’s not the media that’s been hiding. It’s covered every step of Lodge’s path back to the NRL, which is hopefully the beginning of the next great redemption story

When an issue goes so glaringly unaddressed for so long, it should come as no surprise the storm reaches a crescendo just prior to Lodge’s first game. The club’s decision to basically thrust thumbs in their ears and yell ‘lalalalalalala’ hasn’t benefitted anyone – least of all Lodge.

Nah Wayne, it ain’t the media’s fault this time.

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