Henjak has no finals baggage: Renouf - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak has no finals baggage: Renouf

By Wayne Heming 15/09/2009 07:20:45 PM Comments (0)

Try-scoring great Steve Renouf says it's unfair to burden rookie Ivan Henjak with finals baggage left behind by former Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett.

The Broncos will host Bennett's Dragons in Saturday's knockout semi-final knowing they have lost their last six finals at home since 1995.

"It would be liked Ivan taking credit for Brisbane's six premierships which were achieved under Bennett," said Renouf, who scorched to 142 tries in 183 games for Brisbane before heading to the UK in 1999, scoring another 37 tries for Wigan.

Henjak casually brushed aside Brisbane's win-less Suncorp Stadium statistic in finals after naming his 17-man squad for the match on Tuesday.

"The side playing this weekend for us wasn't involved in a lot of the stuff in previous years, especially the semi-finals," said Henjak.

Renouf said the damning home finals record tossed up this week belonged to Bennett and Henjak should be allowed start fresh.

"I wouldn't even give it a thought if I was Ivan, it was a totally different time," said Renouf.

"It was the same club, but this is a different era.

"Ivan and the boys deserve to go in with a clean slate and not take any notice of what happened in the past."

One thing Renouf said could come into play though was Bennett, who has an intimate knowledge of most of Brisbane's big name players.

"All these players have had time under Wayne," Renouf told AAP on Tuesday.

"I'd hate to think how someone like Locky (Darren Lockyer) is feeling about it.

"He's played that many years under him - he is (like) one of his sons - I'm sure he won't mind me saying that.

"I was here as a 17 year-old the same as Locky, it would have to be daunting for him.

"I'm not in that position and I never had to play against a team Wayne coached but I imagine it would be a bit scary.

"What Wayne has in his advantage is that he probably knows what every player is capable of and what they can do better than anyone.

"But Ivan has a lot more experience than you think and he spent a lot of time alongside Wayne, which could be to his advantage as well."

Henjak avoided getting caught up in any personal battle with Bennett when asked if his knowledge of his former boss would be an advantage.

"Not really," he said.

"Wayne won't prepare them any differently from what he has all year.

"They'll be ready to play, they'll be intense, very physical and aggressive.

"We're both in the same boat now, no more chances, so whoever wins the footy match goes on and the loser can say goodbye and I don't think they'll have any excuses at all.

"We have to match their discipline and patience because we have the strike power if we turn up on the day and do our best."

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