New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Alex Hayton has defended his management style against criticisms from former staff members Dain Guttenbeil and Trina Tamati following last weekend's cocaine scandal that rocked the game.

An NZRL investigation into the incident involving captain Jesse Bromwich and forward Kevin Proctor and alleged cocaine use following the Anzac test in Canberra focused on the senior pair but a more extensive review is under way that will examine whether other players were doing anything untoward.

Former general manager of football and community Guttenbeil and ex-marketing and sponsorship manager Tamati blame a lack of leadership from senior NZRL figures for what they deem "a drop in standards".

Hayton defended the organisation - and his own management approach.


"I would certainly like to think that it was an isolated incident," said Hayton. "I'm not aware of any other instances. We are doing a review at the moment and we are putting that sort of stuff together," Hayton said.

He denies players are given too much input into team protocols
"Management sets the boundaries. Times do change. If you talk to older players, they will tell you they got away with a lot more. We did refresh the leadership group for this test match. We introduced new players into that group who we thought were good leaders within the team and were people that others would look up to, respect and follow."

While former CEO Jim Doyle was known for his hands-on work with the Kiwis, Hayton said he is happy to leave the day-to-day workings to team officials: "I don't want to be seen to be getting in the way. That is what we pay them to do."