Wayne Bennett is fighting for his future at Red Hill. Picture: Annette Dew
Wayne Bennett is fighting for his future at Red Hill. Picture: Annette Dew

Bennett fears drama is a distraction for his players

WAYNE Bennett is concerned the ongoing coaching saga at the Broncos is a distraction for his players as they fight to keep their finals hopes alive.

Brisbane's showdown with South Sydney on Thursday night is shaping as a must-win match for the Broncos after back-to-back losses to the Bulldogs and Cowboys.

The Broncos are sitting in eighth place, but the Tigers loom just two points behind.

With speculation also rife that Bennett could be shown the door at the end of the season by chief executive Paul White and the Broncos board, Brisbane is under immense pressure to produce a win against an in-form Rabbitohs outfit.

Wayne Bennett at Broncos training on Wednesday. Picture: Annette Dew
Wayne Bennett at Broncos training on Wednesday. Picture: Annette Dew

While Bennett praised his playing group on Wedneday for how they had handled constant speculation around his future, he admitted he was worried about how it could affect them on the field.

"Any distraction is a concern for me," he said.

"It's not what good football teams need. The boys are handling it great, I think they've been wonderful with it, but the bottom line is it's not what you want.

"That's why I've always tried to avoid it and worked really hard in my coaching life to make sure it doesn't happen to teams that I'm part of."

Despite his concern, Bennett said the players were not discussing the situation, including The Courier-Mail's revelations that skipper Darius Boyd opted to go to Bennett's house last Friday instead of a club function at White's house.

Darius Boyd and Wayne Bennett at Broncos training. Picture: Annette Dew
Darius Boyd and Wayne Bennett at Broncos training. Picture: Annette Dew

He said Thursday night's game was a massive task because of South Sydney's recent form, which has the Rabbitohs sitting in second place.

"No one's talked about the barbecue, we just get on with life," Bennett said.

"I was proud the boys were strong enough in their own way to stand for what they believed in. It's no big deal, it was no big deal on the night, it was never talked about.

"(Tomorrow night) is a challenge because of the quality of the team we're playing."

Brisbane trained well on Wednesday despite the off-field dramas and appeared to be in high spirits at the start of the session.

Bennett said they would take the field as named on Tuesday, with Jordan Kahu to return at left centre.

Jordan Kahu is back in the Broncos side. Picture: AAP
Jordan Kahu is back in the Broncos side. Picture: AAP

Kahu was dropped last week but did not play in the Intrust Super Cup. He was recalled as Bennett felt the Kiwi international had taken on board feedback around his form.

"He's back in the side," Bennett said of Kahu.

"I gave him a week to think about where he's been and I think it's been good for him. He looks like he's really keen to be back in the side.

"He does add something to us and that's what I want him to bring."



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