Tue, Jul 26, 10:44am by Staff Writer
Wayne Bennett has done a lot in his amazing coaching career – including seven NRL premierships and five State or Origin Series wins – but he faces one of his biggest challenges turning around his ailing Broncos’ 2016 campaign.
It’s not unusual for the Broncos’ form to drop-off during the Origin period but they have now slumped to sixth and only four points clear of the 11th-placed Dragons.
Friday’s defeat to Penrith left even Bennett scratching his head as they search for answers to their current slump.
“We just turned up here and it didn’t happen,” he said after the five-tries-to-two defeat.
Added to their woe, they have lost Origin forward pair Sam Thaiday and Josh McGuire through suspension for Thursday’s clash with the Roosters.
The markets have reacted accordingly and despite the Roosters being on a three-match losing streak and being 15th on the NRL Ladder, they are only $2.15 outsiders for this match.
Four weeks ago, the Broncos would have been $1.25 to win this one, but they are $1.70 with doubts over their halves and their forwards.
Brisbane legend Gorden Tallis said that it was hard to believe that this was the same team that was seconds away from winning the NRL Premiership last year.
While he feels that Justin Hodges retirement has left a void, he pointed a lack of presence in the forwards as a key problem.
“I think their forwards haven’t aimed up all year,” Tallis told NRL Tonight. “They’re smaller.
“If I went to training, I would be the biggest forward, but I had Shane Webcke, Petero (Civoniceva) and Glenn Lazarus in front of me.
“So I think they’re genuinely lacking that real big guy.
“That’s why Wayne Bennett went after Russell Packer and Matthew Lodge of late because I think he needs a big, strong, tough guy in the pack.”
Meanwhile, Sportsbet have shown their sportsmanship by offering refunds to those who backed Parramatta in any of seven futures markets ahead of their punishment for salary cap breaches.
Having taken a 12-point penalty for the breaches, and having lost on the weekend, the Eels can no longer make the finals.
In total, 2231 customers will be refunded a combined total of $53,617 in the following markets.
– 2016 Grand Final Winner
– NRL Top 8 Finish
– NRL Top 4 Finish
– Minor Premiership
– To Make the Grand Final
– Top NSW team
– NRL Quinella 2016 (bets involving the Eels in selection)
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