Brad Fittler has taken a massive swipe at Cameron Smith after the Australian captain had a crack at Lebanon.
Speaking ahead of his side's quarter-final against Samoa, Smith was critical of Fittler’s team's defence tactics despite beating the visitors 34-0 at the weekend.
“They were pretty much falling asleep on our attack,” Smith said of Lebanon.
“Tackles were completed- there was people diving in late. You do that in the NRL and you’re getting penalised.
“They caught on pretty quickly so it is no fault of the opposition. It’s just the way the game was refereed.”
Smith’s Melbourne Storm are regarded as the best wrestlers in the game making an art form out of controlling the ruck.
And Fittler didn’t hold back in responding to Smith’s barbs.
“He was saying we were trying to slow the game down-I think everyone’s copying him,” the Lebanon coach told Channel Seven ahead of Saturday's quarter final against Tonga.
“He’s the king at it.
“We’re just trying to follow Cam Smith’s lead so they must have done a good job.
“Maybe he wants the ability to slow Samoa down. He’s a pretty thoughtful bloke, Cam Smith. He wouldn’t be saying it for no reason.”
Lebanon captain Robbie Farah also weighed in and found such comments from Smith ironic.
“If anything, we learnt from Cam,” Farah said.
“Him and his club are specialists at slowing down the ruck.
“I think we did a fantastic job and I am pretty happy they were frustrated with us to be honest.”