Wayne Bennett praises Broncos captains - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wayne Bennett praises Broncos captains

By Wayne Heming 20/10/2008 06:38:28 PM Comments (0)

Champion Broncos halfback Allan Langer says criticism of his leadership by former coach Wayne Bennett has not damaged their friendship.

Bennett, who ended 21 years at the Broncos this month, was unmercifully bagged over the weekend for comments about Langer's captaincy skills at a corporate lunch in Brisbane last week.

A number of former players jumped to Langer's defence, including current Australian coach Ricky Stuart, his rival for the Test No.7 jumper during the 1990s.

But Langer said it was "possible" Bennett's comments on his captaincy had been "taken out of context".

"At the end of the day they could well have been taken out of context," Langer told AAP from Sydney where he is helping Stuart prepare the Kangaroos for the World Cup.

"I'm not too worried about it," he said.

"It won't affect our friendship."

Langer, who captained the Broncos between 1992 and 1999, is one of, if not Bennett's favourite all-time player.

Bennett appeared to be making a point that Langer liked to be popular with his teammates and at times was not always as serious as other Brisbane captains.

Bennett's respect for Langer as a captain was evident when he thanked the six captains for their part in his success at the club at Brisbane's presentation night earlier this month.

"I will always humbly remember my 21 years at the Broncos," said Bennett in his final public address before heading to St George Illawarra.

"The Broncos have been blessed with great captains.

"It was more the stability and their presence that they did for their teammates than anything else.

"All the captains we've had here, they all had such a presence with their teammates.

"I know I'm not going to sleep anywhere near as well in my future job as I did here because every time I knew it was one of them, either Gene (Miles) or Wally (Lewis) or Alf (Langer), Kevvie (Kevin Walters), Gordie (Tallis) or Locky (Darren Lockyer) was playing I knew we were a great chance of winning the game because they made those around them play to their ability."

Bennett thought enough of Langer's leadership skills to send him an SOS when he was playing in England, asking him to return home and help Queensland clinch the Origin series in game three of the 2001 series.

He is too experienced to deliberately criticise a player who helped him win the first four of his six premierships with the Broncos.

"At the end of the day life goes on," said Langer who returns to the Broncos next season as new coach Ivan Henjak's assistant.

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