Like all New South Wales supporters, I’m absolutely fed up with the pathetic State of Origin results over the past decade. More than anything, a lack of competent coaching and captaincy has been the problem.
But I have the solution – Wayne Bennett.
Am I joking or just stupid? Maybe both. But let’s consider a few points.
Firstly, I have no faith in the current people being considered to coach next year: Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Danny Burderus or Phil Gould. We need new blood, someone with no connection to any of the failed group or Channel Nine.
Wayne Bennett is a perfect alternative. He’s a great coach, probably the greatest, and is a student of the game.
In the past he has seen fit to coach such enemies as New Zealand and England, for the good of the game, and of course his own legacy. So he wouldn’t be against coaching the Blues.
Bennett is also his own man, and doesn’t seem to care what the media or the mainstream think. He’s interested in building his legacy, which is why he left Brisbane to coach successfully at St. George.
He moved on to Newcastle with similar ambitions, and although he was unsuccessful there were extenuating circumstances. Bennett’s still coaching well, and was extremely lucky not to win another premiership when Brisbane lost to the Cowboys.
To satiate Bennett’s ambition, NSW offers a perfect project. There is no bigger challenge remaining in rugby league. Imagine the hype, excitement, interest and TV rating that would be created if he came on board.
And in no way would it weaken or discredit a possible NSW victory, just because a Queenslander steered them to glory. Who cares. We just want to win another series and restore some faith and pride in the state and the game itself.
It’s not good for the game for Queensland to keep on winning. As long-suffering supporters we really need to give it back to the Queenslanders, who continue to gloat and lord it over us.
Finally, although Bennett is obviously a proud Queenslander, I’m sure for a number of reasons as outlined above he would accept the challenge.
So please, NSW selectors, have the guts to pose the question.