Bennett quits as Kangaroos coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett quits as Kangaroos coach

09/12/2005 09:21:59 PM Comments (0)

Wayne Bennett has quit as coach of the Kangaroos.

The Australian Rugby League (ARL) confirmed Bennett had stepped down as national coach following the embarrassing 24-0 loss to New Zealand in last month's Tri-Nations final in Leeds, England.

Bennett was heavily criticised for ducking the media this month as the Kangaroos returned home with their tails firmly between their legs following their first series loss in 27 years.

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said the Brisbane coach had regretted avoiding the media at Brisbane airport.

"He does not make decisions on the spur of the moment, and has decided he has felt it is in his best interests to move on," Carr said on Sydney radio station 2UE.

Bennett has been one of the most respected and successful coaches in league history, leading the Broncos to five premierships, including the Super League title when the competition was split in 1997.

He has also enjoyed a stellar record leading the Maroons in State of Origin and was responsible for one of the great masterstrokes in the competition's history by bringing Allan Langer back from England for the series deciding match in 2001.

But Bennett has been under fire in recent seasons for late-season fade outs by the underachieving Broncos outfit.

Brisbane overhauled its coaching staff in the off-season after losing in the finals to eventual premier, the Wests Tigers.

His stock has fallen further in recent months with his reputation tarnished as a result of the Kangaroos' disastrous Tri-Nations campaign.

His decision then to not face up to waiting media on his return home only further fanned the flames of discontent.

He was carpeted by former national captains Laurie Daley and Max Krilich for taking an option at Brisbane airport usually only for rock stars and royalty.

Bennett took an elevator from customs to an underground car park to escape media and copped more criticism after missing the NRL coaches' conference held in Sydney this week.

The ARL board was due to meet on Monday to review the ill-fated Kangaroos tour, but Bennett was still understood to have had the board's support before exiting the role.

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