PRIMARY school children from the Tweed have a ball with Broncos representatives, front row from left, development manager Paul
PRIMARY school children from the Tweed have a ball with Broncos representatives, front row from left, development manager Paul

Bennett may walk, but players to blame for Broncos? failure

By Adam Wratten

Broncos legend Michael Hancock wouldn't be surprised to see the club's supercoach Wayne Bennett quit.

Hancock, who played 271 games for the Brisbane club, yesterday said the players had let Bennett down after the Broncos suffered yet another end-of-season fade-out.

Now a development officer with Brisbane, he said it hurt to watch as a youthful Wests Tigers outfit emphatically ended the Broncos' 2005 campaign with a 34-6 victory on the weekend.

Hancock said he didn't want to see his old mentor - who has brought so much success to the club - go, but it was time for change.

"I love the team, I love the Broncos, we all hurt," Hancock said while attending the Cudgen-Broncos Primary School Challenge at Ned Byrne Field yesterday (see story on Page 37).

He said Bennett's position was under pressure.

"Whatever Wayne decides to do it will be in the best interests of the Broncos," Hancock said.

"Whether or not the club is ready to relinquish him at this point in time I would say no ... but the pressure is certainly upon him.

"I imagine he's not going to go out (on a low). I know the players wouldn't want to see that. I know I don't."

Hancock said all of the players should "take a look at themselves in the mirror".

"Let's face it he's not playing the game, he's got a game plan in place and if the players don't stick to it ... there's an onus on what they do," Hancock said.

"Darren Lockyer is the Australian captain, I think he should look at himself.

"(But) if Brett Seymour plays well it takes the responsibility off Lockyer.

"It's time Brett took more responsibility ... he's only a young bloke, but he plays in a key position. We want guys that can stand up and be heard and be a leader.

"We need a few more chiefs and less indians."

He said Corey Parker and Dane Carlaw also needed to lift.

"You can only be young for so long. When you have played a couple of years, 40-50 games, then you have got experience in the NRL," Hancock said.

"I mean Carlaw's been there for ages ... you can't just sit back there and wait for Darren to do everything - mate get out there and do it yourself."

He said if Bennett was to leave, Kevin Walters would be his preferred successor.

"My wife asked me the question, who can take take the place of the great man?" Hancock said. "I would like to see Kevvy get the job. He's got some great ideas and he wants the job, so give him a go.

"Everyone respects Wayne, they listen, they know the success he has had. Hopefully next year, if he stays on, he can mould them as a team, but the young guys have got a lot more to do.

"The club as a whole has to ask themselves what they need to do to change, do we need drastic changes here, or do we work it out slowly?



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