Inside the bitter feud between NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett and footy legend ...

Like most rising Queensland rugby league stars, Ben Ikin looked up to supercoach Wayne Bennett as a mentor.

He would eventually join the Brisbane Broncos and with Bennett at the helm, won a NRL premiership in 2000.

Off the field, Ikin was welcomed into Bennett's tight-knit family with open arms after marrying his daughter Elizabeth. 

Today, Ikin and his wife are estranged from the NRL coach after he walked out on his wife of 42 years Trish to start a relationship with a woman 16 years his junior in 2016. 

The private family feud escalated publicly after Bennett's partner of four years Dale Cage, 54, lashed at his son-in-law Ikin on social media on Saturday.

NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett (right) has been estranged from his once tight-knit family since starting a relationship with Dale Cage (left) four years ago

NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett (right) has been estranged from his once tight-knit family since starting a relationship with Dale Cage (left) four years ago

Bennett, 70, has come under fire in recent days after he breached the NRL's strict COVID-19 biosecurity protocols by having lunch with Cage at popular Italian restaurant Grappa in Sydney last Wednesday.

Bennett was later fined $20,000 and banned from the coaches box for two games.

His explanation for his actions the following day angered his Fox Sports commentator son-in-law who labelled the breach 'arrogant and irresponsible'.

'It felt a bit arrogant to me, he'd made the mistake, and should have just fessed up to struggling with living in the bubble and saying that he just sort of broke out of it,' Ikin told Fox Sports on Thursday night.

'Because there is no way known, based on the phone calls that I have made today, that there is not a single NRL employee, player, coach, whoever, that is inside the bubble now and does not know those rules.' 

Queensland Origin great Ben Ikin (pictured) slammed his father-in-law Wayne Bennett  on Fox Sports on Thursday night, sparking a war of words with Bennett's current partner

Queensland Origin great Ben Ikin (pictured) slammed his father-in-law Wayne Bennett  on Fox Sports on Thursday night, sparking a war of words with Bennett's current partner

Cage leapt to the defence of her partner of four years on Saturday with a bitter swipe at his son-in-law.

'People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones #just saying. The truth will hurt some people #staytuned #benikin,' she posted on Instagram.

The glamorous blonde uploaded a cryptic post hours earlier.

'The self-righteous scream judgement against other to hide the skeletons dancing in their own closets,' the scathing post read. 

Ms Cage has since turned her Instagram to private after making headlines over the posts.

Relations soured between Ikin and his father-in-law after Bennett separated from his wife and started a relationship with mother-of-three Cage, a secretary he met during his coaching stint at the Newcastle Knights.

It's understood the blonde was working as a secretary at a performance physiotherapy clinic when she crossed paths with Bennett.

Dale Cage (right) has defended her partner Wayne Bennett after he was penalised by the NRL for breaching its biosecurity protocols. The couple are pictured in Mudgee in March

Dale Cage (right) has defended her partner Wayne Bennett after he was penalised by the NRL for breaching its biosecurity protocols. The couple are pictured in Mudgee in March

Dale Cage took aim at her partner's son-in-law, NRL commentator Ben Ikin on Saturday

Dale Cage took aim at her partner's

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