First one to blink loses in a staring contest and it would seem as though Wayne Bennett did the blinking as his showdown with the Brisbane Broncos has resulted in the Broncos declining to extend his contract beyond next season.
That could mean anything, as least so far as the exact date of Bennett’s departure is concerned. The Broncos board will meet in October to determine if Bennett will serve the final year of his contract or whether they will send him off sooner, rather than later.
Bennett, as a winner of seven premierships, obviously has the professionalism and skills to serve as a lame-duck coach, but what about the players under his charge?
We have ranted and raved in the past about the NRL and the in-season shenanigans regarding player and coach movements, but fortunately, we enjoy those two activities and there is no indication that the NRL will follow the lead of some other codes, where discussions of this nature are not permitted during the season.
Bennett is 68, but does not want to retire just yet. “I want to be at the Broncos, I want to continue to coach, everyone knows that,” Bennett said.“I feel I know how long I can go on for. And I’m not going to stay a year too long.I’m going to be like Billy Slater — I want to go out on top of my game. But it’s not now.”
The Broncos are currently eighth on the ladder of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition and this sort of thing is a certain distraction, regardless of what anyone says to the contrary.
Brisbane is a scant two points ahead of West Tigers, who won over Canberra on Sunday. The Broncos lost a close one to the North Queensland Cowboys, which to even the casual observer, is an indication that the Broncos will need a miracle to finish high enough to play finals, let alone go anywhere if they do.
If they make it and go out in the first round, expect Bennett to be on the next train to wherever he is bound.