Walters backs Bennett for NRL title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Walters backs Bennett for NRL title

By Wayne Heming 15/09/2010 07:17:20 PM Comments (0)

Having benefited from Wayne Bennett's grand final midas touch, Kevin Walters would not bet against his former coach ending the pain of long-suffering St George Illawarra fans next month.

Walters and champion half Allan Langer played a big part in Bennett's grand final success which included six wins from six appearances with Brisbane - a record unrivalled even during St George's golden era.

"You don't get lucky that many times," said Walters who arrived home from France, after a stint with Catalan Dragon, on Tuesday to take up a two-year coaching role with Brisbane Easts.

"Wayne is as good a coach as any if they (Dragons) get through.

"His man-management skills are exceptionally good.

"Coaching is about communication and knowing what your players want.

"He's had a lot of players go through his hands in his 20 or 30 years coaching so there wouldn't be too many things he hasn't experienced as a coach."

Bennett's career grand final record stands at 7-2.

His only losses were with Brisbane Souths in 1984 and Canberra in 1987 when he was co-coach with Don Furner.

Walters' grand final playing record of 6-1 is equally impressive, although he lost his first grand final with Canberra in 1987.

He was part of the Green Machine's 1989 premiership win before teaming up with Bennett to win five more in 1992, `93, `97 `98 and in his final season in 2000.

Walters has kept close tabs on the NRL watching at least two games a week from his Perpignan base in the south of France.

"Grand final day is not always about grand final day, it's about what happens on the way there," he said on Wednesday.

He's been impressed with Sydney Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney who have the potential to take the club all the way.

Pearce and Carney played side-by-side for the last 10 minutes of the Roosters' golden point win over Wests Tigers last weekend, reviving memories of Langer and Walters at their scheming best.

"If you've got the playing roster to enable you to play that way like Brian Smith has at the Roosters they can be very dangerous," said Walters, who played more than 200 games for Brisbane and 20 Origin for Queensland.

"They're just natural players.

"We see a lot of robots in today's game but those two young players certainly aren't, they're very gifted."

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