Wrestle mania: Smith claims Bennett brought in Specialist Wrestling Coach

Wrestle mania: Smith claims Bennett brought in specialist


Bennett and Smith.

CAMERON Smith has taken aim at Wayne Bennett for attacking the Melbourne Storm’s wrestling tactics despite hiring a wrestling coach himself.

In his autobiography The Storm Within, which will be released today, the Melbourne, Queensland and Australian great claims every club in the NRL has had a wrestling coach for as long as he could remember yet the Storm were singled out as the main culprits.

He said in 2008 the complaints “became ridiculous’’ and he spotlighted a quote from Bennett after the Storm beat the Broncos at Olympic Park that year.

“The game’s rugby league,’’ Bennett said. “You tackle people, you don’t wrestle.’’

Smith counterclaimed with: “When I played State of Origin in Queensland in 2003, we had wrestling coaches there — and Wayne Bennett, one of the greatest so-called opponents of the wrestle, was our coach. The wrestling coach was Chris Haseman, who had been working with the Broncos since 1998.’’

Smith claims accusations the Storm pioneered the hiring of wrestling coaches can be challenged by the fact that in Manly’s 1996 annual report they acknowledge they had a wrestling coach — Norm Steel.

“We watched and played a lot of rugby league in 2008 and I can say every team was doing what we were doing. What they probably didn’t like was that we just did it better and more effectively.”

“If anything, the criticism we received was a compliment. There was a difference between dirty play that hurts an opponent and slowing down the ruck. Craig wanted our defence to evolve so we wouldn’t just tackle someone and lay over them.

“We were looking at ways to move players onto their back, or other positions, to allow our defence more time to get set. It’s ground work every team does.’’

Smith confirmed a story that the Storm’s wrestling coach, jujitsu instructor John Donahue, put former Storm player Brett O’Farrell to sleep in a “sleeper’’ hold during the 2004 preseason.



There’s really not much to like about Cameron Smith.


Grub, absolute grub.
Win at all cost, no matter the consequence to reputation of player or game.


Yep I don’t have a great deal of regard for him. He lost me particularly after the Alex McKinnon incident.


The Storm introduced and practiced the crusher. Smith is an idiot if he thinks it’s not dangerous. In reality he couldn’t give a rats arse about the risks.
Bennett may have felt compelled to employ a wrestling coach in order to keep up and remain competitive. But that doesn’t mean he is prepared to go to the lengths Smith and his club has, nor does it mean he is continually searching to introduce new and dangerous tactics that make the game worse. It’s possible to comply with current rules or interpretations and at the same time call for change.


Just an ad for the book.


A truer statement you have not uttered Gorab. I just hope that in time the truth about this guy comes out. Read the article by Paul Kent in todays Telegraph for some insight. He’s a friendless prick.


As with everything associated with the Storm, apparently it’s just us being salty or it’s someone else’s fault.

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Self centred,arrogant,bombastic,pompous.
This prick tops the list in all categories.
I’m a firm believer in Karma,this arsehole has some difficult times ahead and he deserves every one of them.


i want to get a pirated copy of cameron smith’s book so that we can make fun of it on a forum megathread

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Look for it in the fiction section of your local book store.


He can’t be all bad- he has refused to speak to Weidler since 2014

What a selfish prick. Of course he has to make it about himself in origin 3 week, 2 days out.

Sounds like it’s a bit of a fairytale anyway.

Give it a month & it’ll be in the $5 bin :clown_face::clown_face::clown_face:


Maroons coach Wayne Bennett has hit back at Cameron Smith

Peter Badel

November 17, 2020 - 12:01PM

News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

In his book, Smith accuses Bennett, a long-time critic of Melbourne’s tackling tactics, of hypocrisy over the wrestling debate.

He writes in part: “When I played State of Origin in Queensland in 2003, we had wrestling coaches there — and Wayne Bennett, one of the greatest so-called opponents of the wrestle, was our coach.

“The wrestling coach was Chris Haseman, who had been working with the Broncos since 1998.”

But in the build-up to the Origin decider, 17 years after Bennett blooded Smith in Maroon at Suncorp in 2003, the super coach gave the Storm champion an uppercut, suggesting he is talking too much.

“If I pioneered it (wrestling), we didn’t do it very well did we, so I won’t claim it,” Bennett said.

“I’m not sure where to go with this to be honest with you.

“It’s the third State of Origin, it’s 1-all, a massive game and we are talking about Cameron Smith and his book.”

Cameron Smith and coach Wayne Bennett share a joke during the team photo for the World All Stars in 2016. Picture: Darren England

Asked about Smith’s suggestion that Bennett would struggle to hold dual roles as Souths and Queensland coach next year, the 70-year-old replied: “Cam is saying a lot at the moment, so good on him.”


I wonder how a team millions of dollars over the cap for years was the best at wrestling?


Why? Because he was rightly called out for his actions after Alex McKinnon incident?


No- those actions were disgraceful and he should have been called out. I just applaud any player who refuses to talk to Weidler

I wouldn’t be surprised if every Queensland player and Souths player refused to talk to him again after his Ben Teo fiasco

Apparently Smith has two books: one readily available in the fiction section and another secret book hidden in the non-fiction section. But don’t bother asking Smith about the non-fiction version - he will deny all knowledge.


Cameron Smith a champion player but not a champion bloke IMO.

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