Bennett wants Soward to find consistency - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett wants Soward to find consistency

By Todd Balym 17/04/2009 07:02:19 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett has challenged young five-eighth Jamie Soward to deliver consistently, declaring it the next step in the maligned star's career.

Soward has been a key figure in the Dragons' start to 2009, his driving kicking game a major factor in the club's four straight wins that have put them on top of the NRL table.

The 24-year-old has been hot and cold since joining the Dragons midway through 2007 from the Roosters but seems to have found his niche under Bennett.

Bennett said Soward needs to find consistency and not get caught up in the positive publicity that is now heading his way.

"It's been wonderful for him. He has had a lot of negative stuff. His scrapbook would still be a minus, it wouldn't be a plus," said Bennett.

"He knows what he can do now and the great ones do it every week.

"That's where his next position is, to be consistent with the way he plays."

It's a challenge Bennett has also set his entire side, with the coach not prepared to accept any praise for getting the team off to a flying start until the year is over.

"Our challenge is to stay and play consistently like we have done for five weeks," he said.

"If we can do that, that is my first priority here. I wasn't looking to be first after five weeks, I wasn't looking to be last.

"I was looking to start getting this football team to play to its potential. I said that when I came here, play tough, be competitive week in, week out.

"They've done it for five, they've got another 19 to go.

"Ask me that question further down the track whether I'm happy with what we've done."

Soward will again figure prominently as the Dragons seek a fifth straight win when they take on Newcastle at WIN Jubilee Oval on Sunday.

Bennett is excited about facing the Knights, who he rates as one of the most entertaining teams in the NRL.

"They play an exciting brand of football and probably play different to most teams in the NRL," he said.

"They're playing good football and I like the way they play."

But he isn't prepared to offer more entertainment to the game by letting Wendell Sailor square off with Knights centre Adam MacDougall.

The two have traded verbal volleys throughout their careers and did so again this week, much to Bennett's amusement.

Bennett said the two 33-year-olds were "wonderful" players in the twilight of their careers, but doesn't expect them to come face-to-face on Saturday.

"Probably in the run down the tunnel, or blow a kiss to each other after the game. That is as close as they will get on the day," he said.

"It would be a talk fest (if they clashed on the field). You'd want to put a mic on the field. It would be great entertainment."

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