Goodbye Wayne

Wayne Bennett hasn’t the best of relationships with the press. He has applied the siege mentality approach so successful in State of Origin campaigns to create unity within the Broncos. And while that approach has had some success, with the latest Broncos premiership campaign facing the usual end of season slump Bennett’s protestations that the Broncos are not in a slump are worrying signs.

The Broncos has lost 4 of their past 6 games. They are still in the top four but could be lapped by a number of teams if they do not pick up their game. From this comment on League Unlimited, here is how the Broncos fared in the final rounds over the past few seasons:

2003

Round 17 [04 Jul 03] L 16-32 v Dragons (A)
Round 18 [11 Jul 03] L 4-40 v Bulldogs (H)
Round 19 [20 Jul 03] W 26-22 v Storm (A)
Round 20 [26 Jul 03] L 20-26 v Sea Eagles (H)
Round 21 [02 Aug 03] L 10-20 v Sharks (A)
Round 22 [08 Aug 03] L 6-13 v Panthers (H)
Round 23 [16 Aug 03] L 10-12 v Tigers (H)
Round 24 [24 Aug 03] L 14-22 v Warriors (A)
Round 25 [30 Aug 03] L 14-16 v Eels (H)
Round 26 [05 Sep 03] L 25-26 v Dragons (H)
Qualifying Finals [14 Sep 03] L 18-28 v Panthers

2004

Round 17 [04 Jul 04] W 48-28 v Souths (H)
Round 18 [09 Jul 04] W 28-14 v Dragons (A)
Round 19 [18 Jul 04] W 16-12 v Knights (A)
Round 20 [24 Jul 04] W 26-12 v Sea Eagles (H)
Round 21 [31 Jul 04] W 16-12 v Sharks (A)
Round 22 [07 Aug 04] W 21-14 v Warriors (A)
Round 23 [15 Aug 04] L 18-46 v Bulldogs (H)
Round 24 [21 Aug 04] W 24-20 v Tigers (H)
Round 25 [28 Aug 04] D 34-34 v Souths (A)
Round 26 [03 Sep 04] L 20-46 v Panthers (A)
Qualifying Finals [11 Sep 04] L 14-31 v Storm
Semi-Final [18 Sep 04] L 0-10 v Cowboys

2005

Round 20 [22 Jul 05] L 22-29 v Bulldogs (A)
Round 21 [30 Jul 05] W 24-18 v Raiders (H)
Round 22 [07 Aug 05] L 20-21 v Sea Eagles (A)
Round 23 [14 Aug 05] L 4-24 v Dragons (H)
Round 24 [21 Aug 05] L 20-22 v Panthers (A)
Round 25 [26 Aug 05] L 10-17 v Roosters (H)
Round 26 [02 Sep 05] L 14-28 v Eels (A)
Finals Week One [10 Sep 05] L 18-24 v Storm (H)
Finals Week Two [18 Sep 05] L 6-34 v Tigers

2006 is not looking any better. The Broncos run home is The Storm, Bulldogs, the Eels and the Warriors. Apart from the Warriors the other three are the form teams at the moment. Depending on how results go the Broncos could drop out of the eight (assuming the Broncos and a few other teams end up on 28 points and that is the cut off mark).

Now this rallying behind the team is all well and good but it doesn’t always work. Hark back to Parramatta coach Brian Smith at the beginning of the season. The Eels were in a crisis yet for Smithy it was business as usual. There was unwillingness by Smith to accept that there were problems. Eventually he resigned and Jason Taylor has done a marvelous job with the Eels since.

Like Brian Smith earlier this year, Bennett’s time is up. He has a coaching record to be proud of but the Broncos are stale and Bennett must finally take responsibility. The trouble with Bennett is that the siege mentality has blinded him to the problems with the Broncos and his own coaching.

Goodbye Wayne.

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