Bennett is no Blue in my book

Steve Kaless Roar Guru

By Steve Kaless, Steve Kaless is a Roar Guru

 , , ,

8 Have your say

    Wayne Bennett and Tonie Carroll (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan)

    Wayne Bennett and Tonie Carroll (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan)

    I’ve never read the Book of Revelations in which the signs of the coming apocalypse are detailed, however I’m pretty sure that amongst the plagues of locusts and rivers of blood there was no talk of a Queenslander coaching NSW.

    Or in correct parlance, a f***ing Queenslander, and I’m sure none of my northern brethren will take offence because they call us much worse….from birth….by law.

    In the aftermath of the Blues fourth consecutive series defeat there has been plenty of soul searching (including from yours truly) and the proposals for salvation have swung from the sensible to the wild and back again pretty quickly.

    But one that keeps cropping up is that Wayne Bennett should be handed the reigns, this even before I’ve seen a bloke marching up and down Pitt St ringing a bell and wearing a sandwich board pronouncing “The End of the World is Nigh”, unless “Golf Sale” has taken a new meaning.

    Bennett? A Queenslander?? In charge of the Blues?!? No No NO.

    It is so wrong on so many levels. It is even worse than letting Kiwis play.

    In case my feelings have been made clear as yet, let me put it simply. I don’t care if NSW lose the next 50 series, the team, coaching staff, management and even the beer they drink which causes the next mass outrage all should come from NSW lock, stock and barrel.

    I mean, this is State of Origin.

    This is Big Artie Beetson taking the Crow’s head off, this is beer cans being hurled at Mick Stone after he sin bins the King, this is the Steve Mortimer collapsing after the Blues first series win, this is MG and the King squaring off all before Michael O’Connor lands one from the sideline, this is Mark Coyne’s miracle at the death. You get the picture.

    But there is also one other image of Origin which is burned into my mind, probably my most cherished Origin moment. It was when Sparkles McGaw chases the ball down at Lang Park and looks to have got it down just inches before the dead ball line.

    The camera flashes up to the stands and there is a youthful Bennett screaming “Oh No! No!”

    But the whole of NSW rose as one as the referee pointed to the spot (he was correct too).

    No change in the geo-political climate would therefore justify that man suddenly cheering on a Blues try. Sure, he did it for New Zealand, but this is rugby league, State of Origin means so much more than some petty international squabble.

    Sure this is 2009, coaches send their CVs all around the world, even bloody Warnie talks up his wares and jokes about talking to the ECB, players play for countries and yet don’t speak the language.

    Sure, the entire concept of the nation state is being whittled away so they we are slowing becoming just one homogenous mass and nationalism that is now largely just a marketing tool for large multi-national corporations, who have no national ties themselves, so they just sell us more jerseys and tracksuits and hats which are all identical to another countries except for the colour.

    McSport rules okay.

    But if there is one issue I’ll grab the pitchfork and man the barricade for it is the State of Origin.

    I’m sick to the back teeth of having the likes of Choppy Close sticking his face into the camera and raving on about Queensland passion. I’m sick of all the jokes about the Axe and Alf having a few too many in camp after Mal decided they’d all had enough of training.

    NSW needs to walk down to the harbour, christ knows it is the fastest way to get there, and have a look at the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and get a bit of pride back into itself.

    Or as it sits in some traffic jam caused by all the roads being closed so we use a toll-way or waits for train to arrive while listening to City Rail apologise for the delay, it should think about what it is to be from NSW. Think about Tommy, Blocker, Junior, ET and Joey, think about state pride.

    Then tell Wayne to enjoy his filthy lucre from Kogarah because that is the only cash from this side of the Tweed he is getting.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (8)

    • June 29th 2009 @ 8:47am
      Brett McKay said | June 29th 2009 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Does anyone know what was said to break the entire Friday night press conference up in stiches, after Bennett said with a smirk, “I’m a Queenslander”??

      Nice little rant Steve, I’m sure after everyone takes a breath and sits back down to think about what they’re asking for, they’ll reach the same conclusion you have…

      This IS Origin, after all…

    • June 29th 2009 @ 11:59am
      joeb said | June 29th 2009 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      The thing with Bennett is if he can assist the Kiwis in defeating Australia in the Centenary Test match without any qualms (for the wellbeing of the game internationally I guess he’d say), and if he can accept a contract with St Geo (and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t), then for the right price he WILL coach NSW you can bet your last dollar, though likewise I’d hate to ever see it happen. But Phil Gould highlighted something very important in his column yesterday which curiously said that prior to this four-straight series victories to the Toads, NSW had won the previous four Origin series, which some of us like me who were turned off league when it adopted ‘uncontested scrums’ missed more or less entirely, i.e. it was news to me that we’d won the series in ’05, ’04, ’03 and ’02. Is this correct? So I repeat is this why NSWRL Chief Carr appears so relaxed about the current state of play for NSW? And Gus in his column again says “Don’t blame the coach [Bellamy] ’cause it ain’t his fault but that of the NSWRL administrators.” Really? Since when are the administrators responsible for how a coach motivates his players and the tactics they employ to defeat an opposition?

      Ripper Bloke made a valid point in the other thread:

      “The times that NSW were dominant during game 2 was [when] wotmough and stewart were on the field together which enabled one or both to get into slater’s and thurston’s faces whom were starting to get flustered something Bellamy would have not been too happy with after all he coaches South Queensland (The Storm ).”

      Piss Bellamy off now before Game 3 and get Turvey Mortimer into the job. If Carr ums and ahs, get rid of him too. Yes it’s about the Opera House and the Coathanger, Kirribilli House and Eveleigh Street Redfern. It’s about pride in the jumper and Mortimer has it flowing through his veins. We could win Game 3 with Steve Mortimer at the helm steering NSW.

    • June 29th 2009 @ 12:11pm
      joeb said | June 29th 2009 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

      Revival must start off the field
      “The losses have had little to do with Coach Craig Bellamy. NSW have failed on the field because they have failed off the field. NSW have just lost four consecutive State of Origin series. That’s right, four. It’s a record just in case you haven’t heard. It’s a total cop-out to say this current Queensland side is full of Australian players, therefore it is OK for NSW to lose. Please. They weren’t a champion side four years ago when this winning streak began. ‘Queensland were coming off four years without a series win and searching for answers’.”

    • June 29th 2009 @ 1:45pm
      The man said | June 29th 2009 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

      The Blues should not look to St Wayne for salvation. Nor should they go back to the future and give Gus the reigns. They should do what they should have done in game 1 and 2 – picked a coach and a side and stuck with them – such a strategy works and it is that alone they should copy from the cane toads, period.

      This is a slippery slope and puts at risk the whole state v state – hate v hate concept. What next – the XXXX Blues – its a prospect that is enough to make any man want several Tooheys or two.

    • June 29th 2009 @ 4:03pm
      Mushi said | June 29th 2009 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

      Joeb the series was drawn in 02 which meant that QLD won as the current holders.

    • July 2nd 2009 @ 3:17pm
      The T said | July 2nd 2009 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

      The last thing we need is Gus who is no doubt loving the attention at the moment, reminds me of Peter Costello where he refuses to give a straight answer. It is that outrageous that even Tommy Raudon is now saying he is willing to coach them, although i suspect that he would put his hand out for a free bowl of soup.

      Keep Bellamy, but here is a novel idea – start playing players in their correct positions. Jarrad Haybe is on fire, so the solution according to NSW selectors is move Hayne to fullback and then move Gidley who plays fullback for his club into half back.

      Why do NSW continue to pick players out of position? Halves as hookers, centres as wingers, locks as second rowers or front row. If you aren’t the best fullback and that is your position, then you don’t get a spot. So if that means good bye Gidley – well so be it. Lets be honest he hasn’t exactly lit up Origin, minimal effect in attack, terrible defence, ordinary kicking game – how is that bloke captain let alone in the squad???

      The third game the team has to be picked as a team of the future. That means get rid of the has beens like Barrett and pick a team of young up and comers who could be in the squad next year. Give them the atmosphere of playing in an origin – in Brisbane, when the series doesn’t matter – let them learn. Because otherwise next year game one we are stuck in the same position as this year, a bunch of new faces with no experience, having to win the opening game in Brisbane.

      Treat the third origin as a practice run. So i would keep Wolfman, he will learn and only get better, maybe give Campese another go – at least he made 35 tackles in game one or Mullen.

      We just need to look to the future and not panic all the time and revert back to the ‘good old days’ and hope that just because it worked in the past, it will work in the future.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , , ,