Adam Blair looks on during the Brisbane Broncos training session at Red Hill this week. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Adam Blair looks on during the Brisbane Broncos training session at Red Hill this week. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

Bennett into bat for Adam Blair after Tallis attack

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has dismissed the firestorm sparked by former club captain Gorden Tallis' stinging assessment of Broncos enforcer Adam Blair being the "dirtiest player" in the game.

While Bennett didn't take umbrage at Tallis' criticism because it was only his opinion, he said he was happy to have the Kiwi international in his team.

Tallis unloaded on Blair after he was charged with a chicken-wing tackle on Brisbane teammate Sam Thaiday in the trans-Tasman Test which the Kangaroos won 16-0.

Tallis questioned how Bennett could have Blair in his Broncos team when he had always demanded his players play within the rules when he was a member of Bennett-coached teams.

Bennett pointed out Blair was not "in his team" and he was "not coaching him" when he made the tackle that set Tallis off.

"It's just his (Tallis') opinion, he's entitled to it," he said. "I was not disappointed Gordie expressed his opinion, we're all allowed to do that.

"The opinion that weighs most is my opinion, that's the one I value most."

Bennett said Blair was an "extremely valuable" player to the club. "I've coached a lot of guys and I've coached a few mugs along the way and I can tell you Adam Blair is no mug," Bennett added.

"He's wonderful with our young players here, nobody does a better job, so he's got no problems with this coach."

Blair will miss tonight's clash with Manly in the second game of a sell-out double-header and his absence will be felt in the middle where he is so strong.


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