Henjak says there's no rift with Bennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak says there's no rift with Bennett

By Wayne Heming 21/08/2008 04:33:46 PM Comments (0)

Assistant coach Ivan Henjak has played down talk of a rift with Brisbane's head coach Wayne Bennett in the wake of representative Darius Boyd's decision to follow the maestro to the Dragons next season.

Henjak said last week he was fairly confident Boyd would take up an option to play for Brisbane in 2009, adding the 21-year-old had strongly indicated that to him.

Henjak is preparing to take over the coaching reins next season when Bennett leaves, after 21 years, to coach the Dragons.

It's an awkward situation for both men as Henjak tries to assemble his roster for his NRL debut next year and Bennett looks to strengthen his playing depth at the Dragons.

Boyd's case has raised concerns there could be an issue between the coaches three weeks out from the NRL finals.

Asked if he was upset Bennett had played a part in Boyd leaving, Henjak said they had an agreement that both men had a job to do.

"We have an understanding that he (Bennett) has a job to do and I have a job to do and personal feelings about each other don't come into it," said Henjak.

"Once Wayne signed with St George, he always had to plan for St George.

"I'd hate to think, though, that his main focus wasn't on making sure that the side was playing well and in good form.

"This year is still our main focus and we've both still got a job to do.

"We wouldn't be doing the right thing by the players if that wasn't the case."

Pushed if he thought Bennett's focus was totally on winning the premiership, Henjak said: "I've got no doubt at all."

Brisbane's recruitment of young Storm superstar Israel Folau played a big part in Boyd's decision to follow Bennett who's developed his career and helped him make his Origin debut this year.

It's not ideal having Bennett recruiting Brisbane players for next season but Henjak conceded it was something he had to live with.

"Wayne (Bennett) obviously has things he has to plan with St George and we're doing the same for the Brisbane Broncos," said Henjak.

"It's a difficult situation but Darius has made his decision, we know about it, now and we have to move on."

Henjak backed the club's decision to go all out to sign Folau, knowing it would drain the salary cap and force players like Boyd, Michael Ennis and Ben Hannant out the door.

"If anyone wants to doubt Israel's signing here they just need to go and look at a few of his games and what he can do," said Henjak.

"I've got no regrets about signing Israel.

"He's young and he's a wonderful player and he's got a long, long career ahead of him.

"We needed that area of our game fixed up and he can certainly fill the void for us.

"We have lost some good players, but we've also signed some good players and we think we've got a couple of good young players in our under 20s who can come through next year which we'll find out in the next few months."

Meanwhile, Brisbane is tipped to confirm the re-signing on Friday of improving prop Nick Kenny who has agreed to another season after establishing himself a regular first-grader this year.

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