Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Bennett a Winner Even If Dragons Lose

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Bennett a Winner Even If Dragons Lose

Article excerpt

Byline: league of their own TONY DURKIN

IRRESPECTIVE of the result, Wayne Bennett will walk out of Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night a satisfied man.

Sure he will want the Dragons to win, and he will consign season 2009 to the disappointment basket if his minor premiers bow out in week two of the finals.

But a small corner of his heart will be content in the knowledge that if his new team had to go, it was at the hands of his old team.

Bennett will always have a soft spot for the Broncos and part of him will always be at Red Hill. I can attest that few people spend a decent slice of their life at the Broncos without developing a passion for the great club.

But no-one has placed a more significant imprimatur on the club than Bennett. His record of 17 successive finals appearances and six premierships speaks for itself.

But his legacy is more than winning games of footy. Bennett gave the Broncos their soul. His players had a licence to enjoy their footy; the confidence to back their skills, and; the assurance that irrespective of the scoreboard, they were never beaten. With Bennett there are no convoluted match plans. His fool-proof theory is 'if we play to the best of our ability all else will take care of itself'. What he has achieved in his first season with the Dragons is remarkable. If they go on to win the premiership, his feat will be astounding. But the team that wins tomorrow will still have him on board if they make it through to grand final day.

Salary cap pillage

THE fact the Storm and Broncos are still in the hunt for the premiership is an amazing outcome for the 2006 grand final opponents, considering the talent lost in the intervening three seasons.

In fact Melbourne appear on track to appear in their fourth successive premiership decider, a feat not achieved since Parramatta in the early 1980s. But back then the Eels had no so such monster named salary cap to bite against them in their quest for on-going success. Chiefly because of those salary cap issues both the Storm and Broncos have had to part company with significant talent since their 2006 GF clash, and in many cases players who have gone on to play starring roles against them. …

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