Bennett’s savage spray at Broncos halves in front of teammates
IF Wayne Bennett was hoping for the right reaction to his team's round one loss to the Dragons, the Broncos mentor certainly wasn't seeing it in an extended training session at the club's Red Hill base on Monday - and he reacted by delivering a fierce spray.
As Darius Boyd (hamstring) and Matt Gillett (neck soreness) had little involvement on day one of preparation for Friday night's Queensland derby against the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, the rest of the squad were subjected to a punishing start to the week.
With a giant Cowboys pack looming in the distance, Broncos players completed a contact drill on the ground when Bennett singled out halves pairing Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford with an expletive-laden rant, unhappy with the intensity at which they were performing their work.
It's a rare sight to see Bennett lose his cool but with his side sitting at the very foot of the NRL ladder after one week Korbin Sims said that it was actually a positive to see such passion in the master coach.
"As he is all the time, after a bad loss like that he just wants the best out of the side," Sims said.
"He was just pushing the boys so we get better for this week.
"The best thing about football is that we've got another round the week after so everyone here today is really keen to get back into training and move on from the disappointing loss against the Dragons."
After getting through his first game back from an ACL injury against the Dragons in last Thursday's 34-12 loss, hooker Andrew McCullough is expected to return to the starting side on Friday night.
Like Sims, he too said the Bennett outburst was a good indicator of how the team will go into their next assignment.
"It is because he knows what this group can do and it was just disappointing on the weekend," McCullough said.
"That's what makes for a bit of a Monday. When you don't do the things that we've been teaching ourselves over the last three months it's quite disappointing.
"It's a long year and we were doing some good stuff here today."
Still troubled by the hamstring injury that kept him out of Australia's World Cup campaign and flared up in pre-season, Boyd was restricted to light duties with the rehab group while Gillett didn't get into the training field at all after having his head caught awkwardly in a tackle against St George Illawarra.
Both are expected to line up against the Cowboys on Friday night but there will be at least one change to the bench after young back-rower Jaydn Su'a accepted the early guilty plea for a shoulder charge on Dragons prop Paul Vaughan and will miss one game.
Former Sharks premiership winner Sam Tagataese came through his first game for Norths Devils in the Intrust Super Cup unscathed and would add considerable size and experience to a Broncos team desperate to muscle up on Friday.
"I don't think it's hard for the boys to get up for this one," Sims said.
"They've been doing it for a long time now with the local derby and everyone should be up for this game.
"It was un-Bronco-like last week and it will be easy for the boys to get up for this weekend.
"Sam Tagataese has been good for the playing group and good for the some of the young Islander boys as well.
"He's very experienced and still has a lot to offer.
"That's why he came here. He still wants to play his best footy and that's why everyone wants to come to a good club, to play their best footy and have fun."