The Brisbane Broncos will be looking for a new coach heading into season 2007 because Wayne Bennett will step down as coach.
Having guided a young Broncos side to back to back titles in the early 90’s, Bennett enjoyed great success with a side full of champion players. As these players reached the prime/end of their career’s, Super League, an open check book, and an Anti NSW message to players saw Bennett get hold of a Super League and two more NRL titles in 1997, 1998 and 2000 respectively.
But with the title in 2000 came a big change.
Queensland’s finest and youngest started to look elsewhere as opportunities to break into the Broncos club no longer presented themselves. The Broncos stopped looking for the best of the best, and started to settle on trying to make do with players that were obviously past their prime and in the decline.
As the rest of the League moves forward, the Broncos steadfastly refused to believe that anyone else could be right. They stuck to their own ways, their own game plans and kept things “In House”.
They started making excuses. All of a sudden talk when from their wonderful star studded Origin side, to talk of Origin being a drain on the, and killing off their title runs. This was hard to swallow at the time, but these days when North Queensland provides as many, if not more of the QLD side, these excuses no longer hold water.
The Broncos then blames the NRL and the salary cap for letting the likes of Tuqiri and Sailor go. The calls from the Broncos were that the game would never replace these players. The fact ism the Broncos never replaced these players.
All the while the Broncos started to show signs of poor play on the field. Poor tactics. Thats wasn’t shocking, what was shocking is that these problems were not being fixed.
It all came to a head nearing the end of 2005. With the Broncos failure, Bennett found himself under immense pressure as he took over the Australian Test side leading into the Tri Nations.
With a disastrous campaign behind him that saw Australia lose its title as world champions, Bennett tried to sneak back into the country only to be embarrassingly caught by cameras trying to scamper away from the waiting media.
Even after all of this, Bennett, with his amazing support in Brisbane, might have been able to get by. But after a terrible performance by Brisbane in the first round, something has finally got to give.
The Broncos look tired. Its a team thats been poorly managed and poorly put together. Its a team who’s key players are not getting any younger and who’s one key player, Darren Lockyer, look like he could use a year off or at the very least a little bit of help.
As the Cowboys ripped the Broncos to shred on Sunday afternoon, you got a sense that the Broncos had nothing left to give. Thats this teams time was over. Like a great heavy weight champion who had come back for one last shot at the title, the Broncos we’re left battered, bruised and knocked out early by a new champion of Queensland.
Maybe its time for Bennett to just be happy with what he has achieved and not let this fight go on any longer.
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
Feb 21, 2020 0