Boring tag doesn't bother Bennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Boring tag doesn't bother Bennett

By Steve Jancetic 30/09/2010 07:13:20 PM Comments (0)

Ignoring taunts about St George Illawarra's boring style, a defiant Wayne Bennett says winning ugly will be beautiful for Dragons fans when the master coach delivers the merged club its first NRL premiership on Sunday.

Using the experienced gleaned from six premiership triumphs, Bennett said grand final week was not the time to go changing things.

It's why fans should expect the expected at ANZ Stadium, with Bennett and the Dragons using Thursday's traditional grand final breakfast to remind fans that winning with safety-first football was top priority for a club desperate for success.

"It's what we do, it's the way we play our football," Bennett said.

"We know what we do well and we know the football we play is enjoyable.

"Other people have got their opinions and perceptions, I'm not going to sit here and try and justify that or change that."

Not even the sledging of a seven-year-old girl from the Villages United Wildcats from western NSW could move the master coach.

At the breakfast as part of a prize in the ultimate grand final week competition, the youngster was asked what advice she would give to the coaches on the eve of the decider.

"The Dragons should pass the ball around a bit more," she said.

It did at least draw a chuckle out of Bennett.

"She's been listening to dad, I'd say. He's getting frustrated in front of the TV," Bennett said.

"It doesn't worry me (the perception we are boring).

"There's a great deal of interest in the grand final and the teams so I would assume someone enjoys what we do."

Not that Bennett would be rewriting the playbook at this stage anyway, with the two-year plan he has implemented since arriving at the club on the precipice of succeeding.

This will be Bennett's eighth top grade grand final - six of which have finished with a lap of honour.

"It helps, there's no doubt about that," Bennett said of his grand final experience.

"You know what wins, you know what's got to be done.

"You're not going to make mistakes you might have made in the past because you think you've got to do something that's not required."

But while the Dragons will bank on the tried and tested, the Roosters should bring enough unpredictability to the table for both sides.

"I think the good thing about us is even we don't know what to expect," Roosters skipper Braith Anasta said.

"We can score tries from anywhere, we've got players that can have a huge influence on the game and have the skill level to come up with the big plays at the right time.

"I don't think we know what our potential is yet."

Perhaps that's why Roosters coach Brian Smith - without a win from three trips to the grand final, the last of which was with Parramatta in 2001 - had a quiet confidence about him on Thursday.

Smith has been accused of having his teams too wound up during previous grand final build-ups, and has worked hard to create a calm atmosphere in the run-in to Sunday's decider.

Asked whether he was more relaxed this time around, Smith said:

"I wish I had 100 of them to talk about - it's been along time since 2001.

"I've been close a few times.

"I was interested in Wayne's comment that he thought the game before the grand final was the toughest - I'm hopeful that he's wrong this weekend.

"I've always found it the opposite for obvious reasons and I hope I'm wrong too this weekend. I hope we've had our toughest game."

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