Roosters halves have Bennett reminiscing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters halves have Bennett reminiscing

By Wayne Heming 02/10/2010 03:29:10 PM Comments (0)

Wayne Bennett hasn't missed the similarities between lethal Sydney Roosters young guns Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney and former Brisbane super-halves Allan Langer and Kevin Walters.

How could he?

Langer and Walters combined in four of Bennett's six NRL premierships (1992-93, 1997-98) and were Queensland's halves in many of Queensland's State of Origin successes through the 1990s.

"There are some similarities there but they're not at that level yet," the St George Illawarra coach told AAP when asked about the threat posed by the two Roosters young guns.

"They're definitely on the way though."

From someone of Bennett's calibre to even suggest Pearce and Carney could challenge the heights of Langer and Walters augurs well for them being long-term NSW Origin halves.

Former Penrith and Roosters star Brad Fittler recently dubbed Pearce and Carney the fastest halves he'd seen play rugby league.

His assessment was supported by six-time grand final winner Walters on his return this month from a coaching stint in France.

Bennett also agrees as his Dragons prepare to face the pair in Sunday's grand final showdown.

"They've got wonderful attitudes, they love the game and they play it so easily," he said.

"That was Alf and Kevvie, they just enjoyed their football.

"They never took it too seriously and they were a wonderful combination.

"These two are a very good combination now and I assume they'll get a lot better as time goes on."

Bennett said Pearce and Carney's enthusiasm on the football field was infectious, even to those off it.

"What they need is a free rein and an ability to express themselves without fear of failure," he said.

"(Dragons five-eighth) Jamie Soward is in the category too, he needs to be able to express himself without fear of failure."

There's another similarity with premiership-winners from his past that Bennett also has not overlooked.

The toughness of his current Dragons side, the way they defend and take it up the middle corridor, he says is not unlike the 2006 Broncos, who upset hot favourites Melbourne in the decider.

"There is," says Bennett, but he quickly adds it's hard to compare others to Brad Thorn, Shane Webcke and Petero Civoniceva, some of the legends of the game.

"Some of these players here with some more grand final experience behind them and some more success will certainly rise in stature as well," he said.

"Right now they're a group of men who have just come together as a team.

"There's lots of qualities I like about this team just like there were lots of qualities I liked about all my Broncos teams.

"I haven't re-invented myself coming to Sydney. I have just packed up the things that worked for us at the Broncos and the things I knew players responded to and enjoyed and tried them here.

"I'd implement a lot of ideas if I believed that's what you needed to do to be successful.

"Jack (Gibson) wasn't wrong when he said, 'keep it simple stupid'."

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