With the Maroons being mercilessly smashed by the Blues and the state in the grip of lockdown, Queensland will send another SOS to Wayne Bennett to save it from the bleakest crisis in its history – and the coronavirus.
The plea comes in the wake of a disastrous week for the Sunshine State, with the Maroons blanked 26-0 at home in Origin 2 before being served the twin catastrophes of a state shutdown and a Broncos game this Sunday.
This has seen Queensland crisis management protocol rapidly enacted, with Bennett’s name immediately linked to a number of director roles ranging from public health to making Cam Munster run the ball more.
Much like every crisis up north dating back to Federation, the super coach was identified as the only entity that could save the holiday destination from doom after Allan Langer was ruled unavailable.
With the relentless nature of the threats bearing down on the state, many believe Bennett is the only entity that could potentially outlive the ominous dynasties of the Brad Fittler era and COVID-19, 20 and 21.
They also believe the mastermind coach is the answer to the hotel quarantine issue, claiming the virus would have never breached lines of containment with a simple defensive strategy based around self-belief and Neville Costigan.
It is believed Bennett is open to the idea of saving Queensland – especially after a two-year deal with the World Health Organisation fell through – but only on the proviso he can still host barbecues to spite Paul White.
The state has offered a generous bundle deal whereby the seven-time premiership winner would repair every flagging entity in the state, including chronic basket cases the Gold Coast Suns and, of greater dereliction, the Broncos.
Better still, the terms of the job would allow him to continue his various other miracle-working roles, his latest involving the job of piloting the new Brisbane franchise – that being all three.
This would be in addition to his other day-to-day responsibilities, such as coaching Souths, advising the NRL, mentoring everyone and taking the blame for the failures of the Knights, Dragons and Great Britain.
But with science attesting there is a small chance Bennett won’t be around forever, Queensland know they’ll need to find another solution to their problems sometime in the next 75 years before he’s no longer walking this earth.
That’s because when the coach leaves Australian soil to take up that role with the new Fiji franchise at the age of 155, it will cost too much in bubble wrap to fly his fragile body home just to combat enemies like the Blues and Karl Morris.
Queenslanders have been agitating for Bennett comebacks for decades, with the state forever craving the good old days under his tutelage when borderline eligibility cases weren’t exposed and the worst Queensland teams in 40 years would win series.
His appeal as a saviour has remained true for decades, with his legend reaching lofty heights in recent times thanks to his survival through other pandemics, such as the 1918 Spanish Flu and the 2003-21 Storm.
It is an aura constructed from years of winning stuff, starting in the 1990s with the freewheeling expansive attack of the Broncos, the original superspreaders.
This has been further strengthened in his time away from Red Hill, with the club replacing premierships for going back to back in favour of wooden spoons and coaching payouts.