As leading coach Wayne Bennett prepares his St George Illawarra side to face the might of the Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park tomorrow night; the secret to his coaching ability has been let out of the bag by Benji Marshall last night.
As guest panelist on the Channel 9 NRL Footy Show, Benji Marshall went into detail about how the involvement of Wayne Bennett helped the New Zealand Rugby League side win the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
One simple word, yet so powerful.
When Bennett was first introduced to the New Zealand side, he explained to them how the majority of senior coaches in the NRL today ‘sugar coat’ their opinion and virtually tell players what they want to hear.
Bennett went on to explain he is the exact opposite of most NRL coaches. He will be brutally honest and at times tell players just how it is, given his consistent results over the years – the method works.
Dragons fans will be hoping it’s the medicine that can help their team return to the winners circle. Most of the focus has been around Bennett’s recruitment, the influx of physical players to make the St George Illawarra side much more battle-hardened.
But the honesty policy could prove even more valuable, as the existing Dragons players have always had the talent – at times they just needed to pull the finger out.
With Wendell Sailor having the benefit of a full pre-season and a host of new faces, the Saints will get the ultimate first up test tomorrow night against the Storm.
It seems Bennett wants a physical clash, the old stager throwing fuel on the fire during yesterdays media conference – touching on the grapple tackle and reminding everyone that the Storm should be closely watched, especially with the new second referee.