With bigger fish to fry, Wayne Bennett denies being the "master puppeteer" orchestrating South Sydney's escalating war of words with Melbourne over the Storm's controversial wrestling tactics.
Souths boss Shane Richardson provoked an angry response from Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy after claiming "incessant" booing marred Melbourne games "because of the way they play".
"I don't think Shane believes anything he's said. There's the master puppeteer in the background, and when your team's a bit down you're looking to deflect attention," Donaghy told AAP.
Bennett attempted to distance himself from the slanging match on Friday, saying anyone who really knew him would acknowledge he wasn't behind Richardson's outburst.
"Richo's doing all the talking at the moment so I'll leave him to keep going," the master coach said.
"The good news is I don't read it and if you don't tell me about it, I don't know about it. So I don't really care about it.
"I can't take the words back. It doesn't worry me."
Bennett also preferred not to get embroiled in debate around the Storm's wrestling antics.
"I'm not here to pass judgment on the Storm or anybody else today," he said ahead of the Rabbitohs' clash with Canterbury on Saturday night.
"We played last Sunday. As a footy team, we've all moved on and I need to move on with the rest of the team and get on with what's in front of us tomorrow."
But the veteran mentor said he wasn't surprised to see Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona escape the wrath of the NRL match review committee for his elbow to South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds.
"Well, we're getting a lot of things wrong at the moment with that part of the game. I don't think there's any doubt about that," Bennett said.
"It's done now. It didn't warrant any more action than that. That's what the people who make that decision thought so we've got to live with it."
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy believes his table-toppers team should be praised for their hard work rather than constantly criticised for their tactics.
Bellamy said in his 18 years at the club he'd never been involved with a squad of players who worked so hard and that they deserve their success.
"The thing that irks me and disappoints me is that it's like all we do at training is plan to take short-cuts or plan to exploit rules when this group is probably the hardest working group I've ever worked with here at the Storm," he said.
"And that's why we are where we are on the ladder - it's because of the work ethic of the group and individuals - and the players don't get enough credit for that."
He said rather than focus on how they can bend the rules, his players had worked on their weakness such as their attack which was spluttering early in the season but now lead the competition in points scored.
"We thought we were a little bit short in a couple of areas in that last year and early this year we were clunky there at stages but that's an area that they've worked really hard on," Bellamy said.