Wayne Bennett’s girlfriend has furiously denied the NRL coach has reconciled with his son-in-law, after reports emerged claiming the couple had worked things out.
Bennett and daughter Elizabeth’s husband Ben Ikin fell out when the NRL’s most decorated coach left his 42-year-old wife Trish to start a relationship with Dale Cage, a secretary 16 years his junior .
Bennett left his former life partner – who is full-time carer for their two disabled adult children, Katherine and Justin – for Ms Cage when he coached at Newcastle in 2016.
Since the breakdown of Bennett’s marriage, tensions have continued to simmer between him and Ikin, who is now the head of football at the Brisbane Broncos. But a recent News Corp article claimed they were now on ‘good terms’.
Wayne Bennett’s girlfriend Dale Cage (pictured together) has denied any reconciliation between the NRL coach and his estranged son-in-law after the pair reportedly kissed and reconciled
Bennett and his daughter Elizabeth’s husband, Ben Ikin (pictured), fell out when he left his 42-year-old wife, Trish, to start a relationship with a woman 16 years his junior, Dale Cage.
But Ms Cage furiously disputed that on Sunday – insisting that was not the case by sharing a snippet of the article on Instagram and calling it ‘rubbish’.
‘Wayne confirmed this morning that it was not true!’ she posted on Sunday.
“He still doesn’t like it,” she added with a laughing emoji.
Ms Cage also referred to another section of the article which suggested Ikin was ‘comfortable’ working with Bennett when he was appointed head of Brisbane football despite their fallout.
“Haha Ikin wishes,” Ms Cage wrote, pinning a sticker to the post that read “false news.”
Ms Cage revealed the couple were still not on good terms in an Instagram post on Sunday
Mrs. Cage and Bennett are seen together. The couple started dating in 2016
Bennett, who started coaching at age 36 in 1987, led the Broncos to six premierships. He will coach his sixth team, the Dolphins, for their inaugural NRL season in 2023.
Fans had hoped Bennett would return to the Brisbane Broncos in 2022 to end the club’s 15-year streak without a winning title.
Ikin and his stepfather will square off when the Dolphins take on the Broncos to kick off the season on March 24 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Ikin, a former NRL star and Fox Sports commentator and analyst, married Bennett’s daughter in 2003.
The tension between the two boiled over in 2020 when Bennett was fined for a Covid breach.
Wayne Bennett and his wife Trish (pictured) shared a rare glimpse into their difficult family life with ABC’s Australian Story in 1999
Bennett left his wife in 2016 to start a new relationship with Ms Cage
He breached the NRL’s strict Covid-19 biosecurity protocols by having lunch with Ms Cage at the popular Italian restaurant Grappa in Sydney.
Ikin publicly called his stepfather “arrogant and irresponsible” for the forbidden meal.
“It was a bit cocky to me, he (Bennett) should have admitted he was struggling living in the bubble and said he just got out of it,” Ikin said on his show, NRL 360, at the time. .
“Because there is not a single NRL employee, player, coach, anyone who is inside the bubble and does not know these rules.”
Bennett was later fined $20,000 for the error.
Ms Cage again responded to Ikin’s criticism by coming to Bennett’s defense on social media.
‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones #just say. The truth will hurt some people #staytuned #benikin’, she posted on Instagram at the time. We didn’t know what she was referring to.
Ms Cage previously swept Ikin away after criticizing Bennett for breaking Covid protocols
At the time of Bennett’s split, the notoriously private NRL figure revealed he no longer lived in the family home and hadn’t for “some time”.
Ms Cage also left her partner of more than 20 years – also the father of her children – and moved to Queensland to be with Bennett in 2016.
Ikin played 55 games for the Broncos and represented the Maroons in 17 State of Origin games.
INSIDE THE FEUD BETWEEN WAYNE BENNETT AND BEN IKIN
2003: Ben Ikin marries Elizabeth, the daughter of Wayne Bennett
September 2016: Wayne Bennett confirms that he and his wife Trish of 42 years have separated. Bennett starts a relationship with Dale Cage
Ikin and Bennett argue over NRL coach’s marriage breakdown
August 2020: Bennett is fined $20,000 after breaching NRL’s strict Covid-19 biosecurity protocols by having lunch with Ms Cage at popular Italian restaurant Grappa in Sydney
Ikin criticized his stepfather for his “arrogant” decision
“It was kind of cocky to me, he made the mistake and should have admitted he was having a hard time living in the bubble and saying he just got out of it,” Ikin told Fox. Sports at the time.
“Because there’s no way of knowing, based on the phone calls I’ve made today, that there isn’t a single NRL employee, player, coach, who that whatever, who’s inside the bubble now and doesn’t know those rules.”
Ms Cage defended Bennett by posting a scathing message about Ikin on Instagram
‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones #just say. The truth will hurt some people #staytuned #benikin’, she posted on Instagram
June 2021: Ikin takes on role as head of football at Brisbane Broncos, where Bennett coached, says he’ll ‘fix’ team
“I felt the roster didn’t have enough knowledge about the game to get the best out of young guys who were super talented but were just learning how to play,” he told the Courier-Mail on Sunday. .
“We need to balance the abilities on our roster…strike, stamina, youth, leadership, game awareness, enforcers, grinders. Position depth is important, but that’s not all.
However, Ikin acknowledged that Bennett was an integral part of the club and there would always be a place for him.
December 2022: Ms Cage confirms Bennett and Ikin rift is ongoing, despite news report suggesting otherwise
“He (Bennett) still doesn’t like it,” she wrote on Instagram.