"He asked me to consistently strive for greatness. "But he never once stopped treating me like I was before I got injured. His ability to connect with players, maybe? McKinnon saw a side to the coach few have witnessed as he struggled to contain his emotions through the ordeal. He understands the necessity for it, but he questions the science as well.". Good, bad or indifferent – he absorbs it. It's one of the most effective post-game sprays I've seen," Hickmans said. In the week leading into April 3, 2009 – the first time he would ever coach against the Brisbane Broncos, things changed at the Dragons. Gould told Wide World of Sports that Walters could have handled both jobs and in general, there were benefits to having an Origin coach who also held an NRL role. For more information, visit Bennett doesn't care about the two points. Bennett has already stamped his authority, axing Maroons legend Justin Hodges as assistant coach in favour of Neil Henry, while veteran prop Josh McGuire has reportedly been dropped from the squad. Then Bennett waltzed into the room. It was on a training field in Liverpool, England, in November last year, the furthest he could possibly be from the political drama at the Broncos, that things began to change for Bennett. The old wrong name, that's one of his favourites. He doesn't tell them what they want to hear, but what they need to hear.". He'd lost it, apparently – whatever 'it' meant. Canberra Raiders: In 1987, he made the move to Canberra where he coached the Raiders to their first ever Grand Final appearance and as a result he was titled ‘Coach of the Year’. But the more he did that the worse it got for him.". We were late in getting Wayne on, due to an unexpected presentation, but he was very gracious and understanding. "If I know Wayne, it will be Freddy doing all the entertaining, Wayne won't be jumping into that too much. But he knows Origin backwards, he really does, and he'll do it his way and that'll include players and staff and what have you. "That could be the key to winning the series, having 17 fit and healthy players. "Always looking at the big picture," Jamie Soward says. "Everything that was happening, it was causing him issues around his own comfort behaviour. Wayne is currently the Head Coach for the South Sydney Rabbitohs. "You can't rely on other people, just rely on yourself to put it all together. Bennett was a man on a mission. Bennett trudged into the sheds, his players dejected, and sat on the bench next to them. Suddenly, his greatest strength had become his biggest weakness. The scrutiny, the backlash – he takes that. Reviews. "Not that saying the previous regime was broken, it'll just be different. "I feel sorry for you blokes," he told his players. Gould said. "It's like running into your dad's arms when you know you've made him the proudest he can be," Soward said. "You talk to anybody at the Knights at the time – the amount of effort and emotional stress it put on him at a time that he himself wasn't in a good state of mind, to not think of himself and instead worry about others and keeping them together – it's why we all love him.". Level 1, 344 St Kilda RdMelbourne VIC 3004, Suite 5/102-108 Alfred St SouthMilsons Point NSW 2061. t to the end 10pm and constantly signed books by requesting staff. He did that last year, that's how much he cared about the Broncos. But in … I couldn't see the conflict of interest or the distraction there," Gould said on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast, speaking with James Bracey. "We were all sitting there wondering should he or shouldn't he," Hickmans said. NRL Help Why do I want him if he's got a busted shoulder? Author: Wayne is the author of three books ‘Don’t Die with the Music in You’, ‘League’s A Lot Like Life’ and most recently ‘The Man in the Mirror’ in which Bennett recognises his triumphs and trials and demonstrates his desire to change up the game and become one of the greatest coaches. . He will face a NSW team widely considered to have greater talent, yet declared when taking the job: "I wouldn't come if I didn't think I could win.". The coach often tells his players that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing without getting any better. Perhaps a premiership with South Sydney, 12 months after he was made to feel like he was closer to a nursing home than another title, would be the greatest accomplishment of his career? For as long as I've known him he's always been up front, but he lost that a bit last year.". Mozilla Firefox He hasn't survived as long as he has without embracing some of the modern ways. "That would be Wayne's mentality, that would be my mentality if I was Wayne. But last year he was distracted because it was coming at him from all angles. It only matters what happens in September and beyond. "His greatest achievement will always be how he kept Newcastle – the players, the staff, the town – together during the Alex McKinnon tragedy.". Newcastle Knights: In 2011, Bennett made the move to the Newcastle Knights. Let our experience guarantee your success. "When they go out to play they aren't uptight. "I looked forward to review, whether you'd played good or bad. "I think it's really good that he's doing it because I've always believed that club coaches should be allowed to coach the Origin. Doesn't matter who they are, if they're fit and healthy and ready to go, that might be the difference between winning and losing. As Australasia's leading Speakers Bureau we have access to hundreds of thought leaders and change makers both locally and internationally as well as over 50 years of experience in the events industry. Perhaps the best big-game coach of all time. Powerful are his words. But in 2018 at the Broncos, that changed. He wasn't communicating around the staff or spending as much time with them as he used to. "Queensland aren't going to rise and fall on Kalyn Ponga, that's not going to be the difference between winning and losing. Another one of Bennett's right hand men for the past two decades, video analyst Scott Barker, has seen first hand over time the coach's ability to distract from distractions. "He just hadn't enjoyed himself for so long, but having the freedom to just coach, and not worry about all the politics, he was himself again.". He is the longest serving coach of a single club in rugby history in Australia and has one of the best winning percentages in Rugby League. In the past without Greg Inglis we've struggled. Review. "It certainly gives us some spice, doesn't it?" So after his first game in charge of the joint venture, in which the Dragons had gone down to the Storm in extra time courtesy of a Greg Inglis field goal, he walked into the sheds smiling. he asked the Kiwi forward. He's not one for sitting down and cutting up hours and hours of video, either. Both coaches will use extended squads for the series, played over three consecutive weeks after a gruelling, coronavirus-affected NRL season. But things just kept going that little bit longer and a little bit harder.". Wayne Bennett has left the door open to coach Queensland in this year’s Origin series if Maroons coach Kevin Walters signs with the Brisbane Broncos. "No. "He wasn't himself last year, he'd admit that now," Hickmans, who followed Bennett from the Broncos to the Dragons, Knights and back, said. Bennett doesn't have a cast of thousands working in his coaching staff. Wayne's taught them how to play without him, to believe without him. "They might sit together and watch the game, you never know! Feedback this morning has been exceptional. He's got a real art in making people feel special. "Origin, he's away for three weeks in camp but you're not 24 hours a day involved in the Origin while you're in camp. At the end of the 2014 season, he made the switch back to the Broncos. So they sat. He is already missing Michael Morgan, Valentine Holmes, Ethan Lowe and Kyle Feldt through injury and perhaps also David Fifita. It'll be Wayne's regime.". "There's definitely more calmness around the playing group these days," Rabbitohs football manager Mark Ellison said. Bennett didn't say anything. "I feel sorry for you because that's the standard you've now set yourself after one game.". Soward sums it up best, reflecting on the moment that he shared with his mentor the moment the Dragons finally ended the curse back in 2010. "I sat on the bench the whole game, didn't get on," McKinnon said. You could argue that was the Dragons for many years before he arrived in 2009. State of Origin Game 1 Live Wednesday 7:00PM EST on Channel 9. "We'd just finished training and I went up to him and said 'it's nice to remember what you were like'," Hickmans said. Panthers reject claims they lodged formal complaint over scheduling for NRL grand final qualifier, Justin Hodges 'gutted' by Queensland Origin sacking under new coach Wayne Bennett, The rich history of Adelaide Oval, with Lleyton Hewitt. Bennett, a self-professed man with no hobbies, made reference to a College Football coach in the United States still going into his 80s. But Wayne is genuinely a players' coach. "Finals time he's like a kid at Christmas, and there's no bigger kid than Wayne.". Wayne Bennet could not coach ivy to run over an outside toilet! Altogether, talking. The players, shattered. Give me a break. "I couldn't understand why Kevin Walters couldn't do it. Wayne was fantastic! Sorry but this browser is no longer supported. The communication dropped off after that. His greatest achievement has nothing to do with wins mate," Hickmans replies. Microsoft Edge And that's exactly what he did for Jamie Soward, tapping into the skill that ultimately ended the Dragons' 31-year premiership drought. He just gets the best out of people.