Bennett and Sheens are the last of their kind

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    Wayne Bennett was unable to turn England's fortunes around.

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    Being a coach in 2012 is a different beast to what our forefathers had to face. It is a dog-eat-dog world, and if you’re not the dog eating, you’re the dog being eaten.

    The love is fleeting and the hate is lasting. But two men still stand and refuse to wilt into history.

    Wayne Bennett and Tim Sheens are the last of the Mohicans.

    These two have made lesser men not just better football players, but better people. Off course they have egos and they like them being played with. But legacy is all we have and they continue to carve out their hefty pieces.

    They know that only respect gets the best out of their players. In return, the players hand them premierships on blood stained silverware.

    Bennett and Sheens will eventually step down from the coaching game and one day, they will eventually die. They know this. They know because there is no grey areas.

    They are guys who have lived the game as they’ve seen it. They know life’s certainties: death, taxes and rugby league footy.

    Combined, these two have gone through over fifty seasons of first grade coaching. A scary number considering how short the life expectancy of a coach is in this day and age.

    They have had to evolve with the times and reinvent themselves over and over again. You have to keep moving or you are forgotten.

    Who knows how long they will go? Surely time is creeping up on them.

    Darren Lockyer knows both of them well.

    “The Sheens coaching CV stretches back to 1984 with Penrith; Bennett’s to 1987 with Canberra. They want the premierships that are up for grabs every year and they will be around a while yet,” Lockyer once said.

    “I have been coached by Wayne for many more games than Tim, but the Tigers coach is probably more of a tactician.

    “His game plans and his ideas on attacking moves represent a different way of coaching to Wayne’s, who keeps things simple and focuses on little things. Keeping things simple will work forever.”

    You can almost see them in the distance. Two old cowboys at the end of their run. Hand on the holster and daring the other to draw.

    Old school barely has a place in our game anymore. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Like sand through the hour glass, so are Bennett and Sheens.

    Bennett wins the shootout, by the way.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • February 22nd 2012 @ 5:01am
      Johnno said | February 22nd 2012 @ 5:01am | ! Report

      So where does Gus Gould and Jack Gibson fall into this category, I wonder and Craig Bellamy and even big Mal 6 straight origins.
      Micheal Hagan won a title in 2001 and helped Mal as Neil Henry has done too in those origin wins.

      Brian Smith is a good coach but has not won a title so can’t put him in the top category . Bob Fulton I think and i am not a Manly fan but he won a few title a few grand final runner ups too, and kangaroo tour victories , and Ashes wins at home and 95 world cup win at the old wembley, has to be looked at as one of the great coaches just as much as Tim Sheens, both Tim and Bob had star club sides and won titles. Still how Tim Sheens won the NRL title in 2005 with the team he had (a very raw and young Benji Marshall i will never know).

      Was Scott Prince like Andrew Johns, and that dominant a half back who did not needs his forwards as much im not sure. Joey in his final part of 2006 did not win many matches despite playing great coz he did not have a dominant pack of forwards at Newcaslte in 2006. All halfbacks need good forwards even joey.

      Maybe the 2005 team of Todd Payten and Skandalis, a young robbie farah, and some others trying to remember a forwad by the surname futon, and others maybe they were a class team the 2005 west Tigers, just so young blokes like Pat Richards too.

      But Bob Futlon sure could coach despite having good teams. And a special mention for Malcom Reilly who coached the Newcastle knights 97 grand final win. And he coached great britian teams too that beat and got mighty close to winning some ashes series vs the kangaroos.

      Even Ellery Hanley as coach of great Britian in 94 did a good job. What a player Ellery Hanley was though.

      Fatty won an origin in 95 with no coaching experience but probably can’t be considered great and had 1 more origin form memory and has been at 9 and done the forty show ever since with guys like sterlo and matey, and chief, . Matt johns apparently good feedback they say he would be a good head coach as he has done some consulting in coaching for some teams.
      If Matt Johns wanted to be and move away form media commitments.

      • Roar Guru

        February 22nd 2012 @ 9:54am
        Curtis Woodward said | February 22nd 2012 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        Point is .. Sheens and Bennett are still there

      • February 25th 2012 @ 6:52am
        Stanley Bridge said | February 25th 2012 @ 6:52am | ! Report

        Wow Johnno, what an annoying bloke you would be at a BBQ or down at the local.

        The article is about two blokes slogging it out season after season with different men over different eras and coming up with results.

        Have another beer.

    • February 22nd 2012 @ 5:01am
      purple_shag said | February 22nd 2012 @ 5:01am | ! Report

      Get on the mighty knights to win the lot if you know what’s good for you. A punters manifesto is all you need…

      • February 22nd 2012 @ 11:40am
        toddm said | February 22nd 2012 @ 11:40am | ! Report

        i love you thinking mate – im buckling for a great year and lets hope the boys put in

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