Blake Ferguson of the Roosters is tackled by Alexander Glenn, Joe Ofahengaue and Korbin Sims of the Broncos in Round 24. Photo: AAP
Blake Ferguson of the Roosters is tackled by Alexander Glenn, Joe Ofahengaue and Korbin Sims of the Broncos in Round 24. Photo: AAP

It’s a Broncos-Sharks grand final — this week

SO, it's a Broncos-Sharks grand final then.

That's this week. Next week it will be something different.

That's the only thing that is consistent about this season. It's inconsistency.

There is one thing that is very familiar though. The way Wayne Bennett has got his team firing at the right end of the season.

Their performance over the past couple of weeks against two of the most heavily backed sides in the competition has shades of 2006 all over it.

That was the last time Brisbane won the competition and you could almost reprint the media coverage of that campaign this season without changing too many words.

The Broncos were shot, Bennett had lost the dressing room, they were no hope.

What those of us outside the bubble didn't know was that Bennett had taken his foot off the pedal three quarters of the way through the season to have his boys fresh for the games that mattered. Once they hit their straps they didn't ease up until after the victory lap.

This season is slightly different, but not much.

Once again the knives are out and once again Bennett is taking the flak while his team gets its act together.

One of the most telling images of last weekend's annihilation of the Roosters was of a relaxed Bennett sitting among his players enjoying a soft drink after the game. If that was a coach who has lost the dressing room I'd hate to see what is going on at the Dragons or Panthers right now.

Not that everyone is seeing it. One Sydney reporter yesterday praised the Sharks after their win over a struggling Newcastle as "about the only team gathering some pre-finals momentum".

Corey Oates of the Broncos celebrates with teammates after scoring a try in Round 24 against the Roosters. Photo: Getty Images
Corey Oates of the Broncos celebrates with teammates after scoring a try in Round 24 against the Roosters. Photo: Getty Images

Hello? How does belting the number two and number three teams on the ladder in consecutive weeks rate?

Still, Bennett won't be too concerned about what anyone is saying about his team's chances.

He's an action speaks louder than words kind of guy.

And right now the actions of his team are sending a very loud message to his employers - and to other club bosses.

With the coaching merry-go-round still bubbling away, the better the Broncos do, the more headaches Bennett is producing - and the higher his stocks are rising.

If, as seems inevitable, he leaves at the end of next season - if not before - who will take his place?

Brisbane's win over Souths has put a big question mark over the inexperienced Anthony Seibold's credentials.

The last thing the Broncos need is another succession failure like Ivan Henjak or Anthony Griffin.

And, just as crucially, where will Bennett go? Surely not back to the Dragons as hinted. Been there, done that. Panthers? Hardly. If Gus Gould reckoned Anthony Griffin was "old school" (read: hard to push around) what would that make Bennett?

Last week a very knowledgeable league figure suggested the Eels, and he made a lot of sense: revamped management, huge juniors, massive support base, rich leagues club - and no premiership this century.

Sounds just like Bennett's thing, but this premiership race has still got a lot of twists and turns in it before we get to that stage.

Six weeks ago I would have said that this season was boring; that it was a three-horse race between the Storm, Rabbitohs and Roosters.

Now it's getting more interesting by the day.



'Ipswich's sweet side': Strawberry lovers get behind farmers

premium_icon 'Ipswich's sweet side': Strawberry lovers get behind farmers

Fruit sales and prices recover ahead of "Strawberry Sunday"

Mum is no longer the word on teen pregnancy

premium_icon Mum is no longer the word on teen pregnancy

Classes open for Ipswich teen mums

Third year in a row for Ipswich artist to win top award

premium_icon Third year in a row for Ipswich artist to win top award

The awards are Flying Arts Alliance's annual visual arts prize

Local Partners