Well the Queensland conspiracy theorists are out in force once again, and this time they are targeting one of their own.
With three of the strongest clubs in the game and three straight Origin series under their belts, its getting hard these days for the old Queensland brigade to suggest that those rotten NSW people have spent days and nights thinking of ways to screw over our red neck cousins from up north.
However, with Wayne Bennett leaving the Broncos to coach the Dragons next season, he seems to have switched to that NSW loving dark side, and therefore he must be destroyed.
The chatter up north this week has been around Wayne Bennett’s influence on Broncos players that are leaving the club at the end of this season.
Ben Hannant, Michael Ennis, Denan Kemp and Joel Moon have all signed with other clubs in 2009. This could have been let slide, however this week Darius Boyd announced he too would leave the club, and sign for Wayne Bennetts Dragons.
Well, that was all that was needed. Despite the fact Boyd has been talking to other clubs for months now and was a million to one to be a Bronco next season, it seems Wayne Bennett it getting the blame for the Broncos exodus.
Next years Broncos coach, and current assistant coach Ivan Henjak was forced to play down a rift between himself and Bennett, but anyone that saw him trying to do so on TV could see he pretty much failed.
Whats not being talked about is the fact the Broncos signed Israel Folau to a huge deal (Well, huge for this low salary cap era) and once that announcement was made Broncos players were forced to look elsewhere to get what they are worth.
Of course, things have changed at the Broncos. Once they used to scare players into staying at the club, telling them they had to be loyal and they wouldn’t get it any better if they went to one of those dirty NSW sides.
The QRL was right in it as well. In fact they stepped in and stopped Wally Lewis from heading to Sydney to play for Manly in the 1980’s, heaven forbid he joined the dark side and live in NSW.
Its hard to pinpoint when this attitude changed. Darren Smith left the Broncos to join the Bulldogs and Sid Domic left to join the Panthers. Both did well out of their moves.
Then Sailor and Tuqiri took the money on offer in union while Justin Hodges and Ashley Harrison both headed to Sydney for play with the Roosters and Rabbitohs respectively. A few years later Brent Tate left to take up a big deal with the New Zealand Warriors.
Then last year captain Petero Civoniceva, who had been promised a big pay increase when Shane Webcke retired, was given a low offer by the club and had words like loyalty thrown at him.
He promptly left on a huge deal with Penrith in the biggest sign yet that the Broncos no longer have a hold over players.
Now, the Broncos haven’t even got their Queensland monopoly any more, with the Gold Coast and North Queensland Cowboys, the Broncos are no longer the golden child up north.
Its all a scary time for the Queenslanders as those nasty outsiders are taking all of their players. The players that rightfully belong to them.
Of course, Folau is one of theirs too….
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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