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NRL 2020: Braith Anasta rubbishes conspiracy theory linking him to Wayne Bennett’s COVID-19 breach

Sporting News logo Sporting News 7/08/2020 Sporting News

NRL legend and pundit Braith Anasta has been forced to deny he was the whistle-blower who informed the NRL of South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett’s visit to a popular Italian restaurant.

Bennett was on Thursday forced to admit he dined in at Leichhardt eatery Grappa.

The 70-year-old’s lunch visit contravened the code’s strict biosecurity rules he helped draft in May as a member of the Project Apollo Committee.

He was subsequently placed on a ‘COVID Hold’ which requires the Bunnies boss self-isolate for 14 days and return a negative coronavirus test before rejoining the Rabbitohs bubble.

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Bennett was also on Friday fined $20,000 over the incident.

s first reported by Sydney Morning Herald journalist Michael Chammas, Anasta was among the patrons at Grappa during Bennett’s costly visit.

And as word of his presence filtered back to Redfern, some South Sydney officials reportedly cooked up a conspiracy theory that it was Anasta who dobbed in the seven-time premiership-winning coach.

But the former Canterbury, Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers five-eighth told Fairfax claims he reported Bennett are ‘absolute rubbish’.

Meanwhile, Bennett was forced to watch South Sydney’s 28-10 win over Brisbane from his couch.

Assistant coach Jason Demetriou took over the reins in Bennett’s absence and revealed his boss’ reaction after the Rabbitohs posted their seventh victory of the season to climb to sixth on the NRL ladder.

“He just said, ‘Congratulations, the boys did a great job’, Demetriou said.

“Everything we spoke about through the week was about putting them inside their 20 and taking our chances when we got on the tryline and the boys did that well.”

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