The Brisbane Broncos have had enough of Wayne Bennett and The Dolphins' suspected tactics and have officially made a formal complaint to the NRL integrity unit, alleging that the new club tried to entice young outside back Deine Mariner to break his current contract.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that NRL investigators have already been in touch with Mariner's management after it was revealed that Mariner had made a totally unexpected request for an immediate release from his contract six weeks ago.
The Broncos rejected the 19-year-old's request but believe it was only made as a result of the Dolphins' desperation – but the new club has already rejected that assertion.
Mariner's manager Dixon McIver confirmed that he had been contacted by the NRL following the allegations.
“The NRL has made contact with us, I have co-operated fully,” McIver told the Telegraph.
“I have given them a statement on where we stand and that's why I don't have any concerns.”
McIver appears to side with the Dolphins on the issue, claiming the new club hasn't broken any contract laws and that his client is happy to honour his current deal.
“Deine has had interest from a number of clubs,” McIver said.
“There's a difference between enticing a player and some discussions that have transpired.
“We've left it to the Broncos and the NRL to sort out and they will come up with deliberations in due course.
“I've got a good relationship with the Broncos. The interpretation I have of the situation to the Broncos will be completely different.
“I don't think there's anything to be concerned about.”
McIver was less forthcoming with the possible motivations behind Mariner's release request.
“I can't go into detail on that. Deine had his reasons and one thing for certain is that Deine is a Bronco. He's contracted for 2024.
“I'm not worried, I don't know how the Dolphins feel. The Broncos have raised a concern over a number of players but that's for the NRL and them and we'll reply when we have to.”
Dolphins CEO Terry Reader has also weighed in, refuting claims the club tried to coerce Mariner or that they're trying to cause chaos at the Broncos.
“The reality is there are now two teams in Brisbane and more competition for local players,” Reader said.
“The Dolphins will always be interested in the best available young talent, especially players from Queensland.
“We aren't targeting the Broncos. The fact is that players now have more options with two NRL clubs in Brisbane.”