Having loaded the Newcastle Knights with an ageing roster that needs completely rebuilt, and then undermining current Broncos coach Anthony Griffin to get the job he wanted, now Wayne Bennett is not doing any favours for the coach he replaced at the Newcastle Knights.
When Nathan Tinkler took over the Knights ownership Rick Stone was in charge of the club. Stone’s record as Knights coach wasn’t great, but is way better than Wayne Bennett’s record at the club and been.
When Bennett walked into the Knights on a $1 million a year deal he kept Stone on as an assistant. The idea was that when Bennett did eventually leave the club Stone would step back into the head coaching role.
Now that Bennett is finally on his way, he seems to be doing his best to make sure Stone doesn’t get his old job back.
Bennett recently wrote a letter of recommendation to the Knights board in support of Terry Matterson taking over the Knights coaching job. You have to wonder how Rick Stone feels about that.
When you consider that Wayne Bennett endorsed Ivan Henjak taking over from him at the Broncos, and then endorsed Steve Price taking over from him at the Dragons, it might be in the Knights best interest to completely disregard anything Wayne Bennett has to say about who should be his successor.
After a humiliating thrashing to the South Sydney Rabbitohs on the weekend the Knights are a club at an all time low. I think that Bennett should stand down immediately as Knights coach and let Stone take over for the rest of the season.
If that was to happen Stone might be able to inject a bit of life into the Knights season and the club would be able to assess if he is the man for the job heading into 2015.
If the Knights were to improve over the remainder of the season however it would be embarrassing for Bennett and almost certainly rule Terry Matterson out of the Knights head coaching job.
So here we are at a moment when the Newcastle Knights need to consider what is best for the club moving forward. Do they tap Wayne Bennett on the shoulder, thank him for his time, and make a positive change for the club? Does the Newcastle Knights management have the backbone to make such a move?
We have seen in recent times that Wayne Bennett is only concerned about what is best for Wayne Bennett. That isn’t good news for Rick Stone. As he happily stepped aside for Bennett to take his job, and then patiently waited until Bennett decided to leave the club, he now has to contend with Bennett undermining his return to a job that most people still consider to be his.
You can’t fault Terry Matterson for wanting his shot at running an NRL club, but you can question the motives behind Wayne Bennett’s refusal to do what is right by Rick Stone.
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