NRL boss Todd Greenberg has hit back at calls from Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett for an earlier release of the finals schedule.
Bennett believes his preparations for week one of the finals have been thrown into disarray because he is unsure who, when or where his team will be playing.
Greenberg immediately addressed the issue with Bennett and Broncos CEO Paul White on Friday morning.
“I said to him that when you’re walking into the last round and no one knows who’s going to come first or eighth, it is near impossible to then land a finals schedule,” Greenberg said on Friday.
Greenberg also said that the Broncos, who are currently in fourth spot following Thursday’s win over the Sydney Roosters, were fortunate that they had already played their final regular season game.
“Wayne’s in the very fortunate position that he’s played his last game, so his team are now resting while others are about to play,” Greenberg said.
“It’s a bit tough to be suggesting that the NRL need to lock finals in because we’re all about player welfare and the finals will be decided on both venue availability but also back-up times for our athletes.”
The Broncos could fall back to fifth spot should North Queensland defeat Gold Coast in Townsville on Saturday night.
Bennett, the seven-time premiership coach, said the NRL needs to publish a schedule for the opening week of the finals much earlier than they do currently.
“We don’t know what we’re doing to be honest with you. It’s a bit weird, we should know,” he said.
“We should know what fifth and eighth are doing. We don’t know what days we’re training … not earlier in the season, but I’d like to know it now.
“Whoever they are, five and eight will play here on a Sunday or Saturday or whatever. We deserve that. If we don’t know by Sunday if we should be back training by Sunday then we’ve missed a huge advantage.”