Broncos re-sign Henjak until end of 2012 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos re-sign Henjak until end of 2012

14/01/2010 06:45:05 PM Comments (0)

As the full-time siren sounded on Canberra's record 56-0 NRL win over Brisbane last August, many also believed it was the death knell to coach Ivan Henjak's future at the Broncos.

He was on a hiding to nothing after taking over from the great Wayne Bennett in 2009.

Not that Henjak needed any reminding as Brisbane appeared poised to miss the finals for the first time in 18 years after a horror slide was compounded by their now infamous loss in the nation's capital.

In the end, that match did prove crucial - to the Broncos re-signing Henjak for another two seasons on Thursday.

After announcing that Henjak had been locked in until the end of 2012, Broncos boss Bruno Cullen said the rookie coach showed his true colours following the Canberra catastrophe - and the club board liked what they saw.

"It's a very lonely world when you are down on the back of so many losses - particularly when the last one was 56-0 at Canberra," Cullen said on Thursday.

"You could easily lose your way. You could lose the confidence of the players - even your own confidence, but that never happened.

"He held his line, and the players stayed with him which is an indication that they wanted to follow and support him - from there it is history."

In the end, the Broncos made the finals - yet again - and got within a game of a shot at the premiership.

Henjak not only stepped up to the task - in the Brisbane board's eyes he also stepped out of Bennett's daunting shadow.

"He was in the worst possible position of all. He had taken over from the biggest icon in Australian rugby league coaching," Cullen said.

"And here he was in his first year of coaching looking down the barrel of not making the semi-finals for the first time in 17 years or so, so all the pressure and focus was on him."

Asked if the Broncos were tempted to dump Henjak during those dark times, Cullen said it was "never the case".

He also dismissed rumours linking Cronulla and former Australian coach Ricky Stuart to the Broncos post.

Certainly Henjak looked at home in Brisbane as he arrived at Thursday's press conference behind the wheel of a car from new Broncos sponsor Audi.

But Henjak admitted there were times when he thought his time may be up as Brisbane spun their wheels in 2009.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned," he said.

"If ever you go through adversity there is always a positive if you get through it.

"I look back on it now and say I learned a lot about myself, the team and what it needs to win footy matches."

Already Henjak faces challenges ahead of the 2010 season with Justin Hodges (Achilles) ruled out for six months.

But Henjak said: "There are a lot of things last year that I experienced that I hadn't before, and hopefully I have learnt from those things.

"I am not going to say I am a better coach but I am certainly better for the experience."

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