I always felt as though Wayne Bennett left the Brisbane Broncos is a fairly average position.
Basically when he left, the club needed to completely rebuild itself. It’s highest paid player was getting on and would never be around once the youngsters kicked on.
Thats not Bennett’s fault, that’s just how Rugby League works. The Broncos were on a bit of a slide and Bennett left for the Dragons, leaving his assistant coach, Ivan Henjak to take over.
Henjak was always going to suffer from not being Wayne Bennett. Unless he stepped in and had the Bronco’s playing like world beaters from day one, he was going to struggle for support.
Rumours of off field issues between the players and coach didn’t help. You also always got the feeling that Henjak was the bloke the Broncos were going with until they found theirreal coach.
Then, just a couple of weeks before the start of this season, sensationally, Henjak was sacked. I can’t ever remember a coach being sacked a couple of weeks before the start of the season.
Henjak assistant Anthony Griffin stepped in and once again you got the feeling he wouldn’t be around for long.
Then last weeks, the dominoes starts to fall.
Darren Lockyer announced his retirement, and Lockyer had always been talked about as a future coach of the Broncos. I don’t care who you are, if you are coaching the Broncos and Darren Lockyer decides he now wants to coach them, you are gone.
Wayne Bennett then announced he was leaving the St George/Illawarra Dragons.
Most felt this would seen Bennett heading to Brisbane, coaching for a few years, then handing over to Darren Lockyer. It was also revealed by the media that behind the scenes at Brisbane, there were political moves being made.
Basically, Wayne Bennetts backers had gained control of the club and with the chance to possibly get Bennett back to Brisbane, any coach currently at Brisbane was out the door.
It was also revealed, by Ivan Henjak in the Courier Mail, that he was told earlier in the year that Wayne Bennett had held a meeting with a Broncos official asking about the possibility of him returning, with Ivan Henjak being his assistant again.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a knife job by Wayne Bennett!
He backed Ivan Henjak to take over from him. Henjak developed a lot of young players over a couple of tough season. He deserved to see out at least this year.
Not only that, Anthony Griffin also will have a knife to pull out of his back. He’ll be tossed aside if Bennett returns to Brisbane.
Henjak and Griffin are both former Wayne Bennett assistants. Both considered “Bennys men”. To find their mentor tossing them aside with no regard to waltz in and take over….they must feel betrayed.
Just like the Dragons, who believed in Bennett only to have him last week treat them as a “job done”, these people have not been a factor in the decisions Bennett made. A bloke that preaches loyalty, but who will take you’re job if and when he wants it.
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
Aug 28, 2020 0