Bennett's calm as Broncos feel heat
IN AN odd kind of way Brisbane is in a place Wayne Bennett revels in.
The Broncos' loss to the lowly placed Roosters has put the heat on the coach to find some answers in the next five weeks and not limp into the finals or miss them altogether.
The knives are already being sharpened and the southern media is joyfully ripping into Bennett and his Broncos like it's payback for his success and for Queensland's State of Origin series win over New South Wales - again.
It seems those south of the border are still hurting over the fact last year's grand final was an all-Queensland affair between North Queensland and Brisbane and it turned out to be one of the best grand finals in 100 years.
None of that will cause Bennett to lose a minute's sleep.
"It is what it is,” was his simple explanation about what was going wrong.
Brisbane, down on confidence, took the field against the Roosters with its youngest and most inexperienced bench and with three Origin and Test forwards with 500 NRL games missing.
They lost a specialist winger Lachlan Maranta in the early minutes which caused serious backline disruption.
They had two tries disallowed by The Bunker - one of them the greatest howler since, well, since last week's greatest howler.
Bennett is no rookie. Seven NRL premierships, more than any other coach in history, 750 NRL games, more than any other coach in history, and more finals appearances and wins than any other coach in history.
Next week he gets Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire and Matt Gillett back for the clash with the Dragons before hosting the Eels in round 23.
Those two games give Brisbane the chance to build some much needed momentum.
Bennett believes will be the key to playing finals football.
"A week is a long time in football, five weeks is a lot longer,” said Brisbane skipper Corey Parker.
"We're still in control of out own destiny.”