Bennett: Blues need Jet, not Hayne

Super Freak

International Captain
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WAYNE Bennett has called for NSW to unleash James Roberts on the Origin stage, declaring the Broncos centre’s “terrifying” speed could break Queensland’s hearts in the Suncorp decider.

Bennett’s warning comes as statistics obtained by The Courier-Mail show Roberts is comprehensively outplaying Hayne, making 40 more tackle busts than the NSW Origin centre this season.

The in-form Roberts has one final chance to impress NSW coach Laurie Daley when he wages a centre shootout with Storm and Queensland rival Will Chambers on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Hayne came under fire for his erratic Origin II display and Bennett believes Blues hierarchy must make a tough call by dumping either the Titans superstar or Josh Dugan to accommodate Roberts.

Bennett knows an Origin player when he sees one. He coached Queensland 21 times in seven series across three stints between 1986-2003 and says the Blues would be foolish to overlook the most dangerous attacking centre in the NRL.

“James is ready for Origin. They should pick him,” Bennett told The Courier-Mail.

“I saw Laurie Daley interviewed some weeks ago and he said they weren’t going to beat Queensland by defending them — they wanted to out-attack them.

“Well, that’s what James brings. He is one of the best carriers of the football in the game. Defensively, he stands up as well.

“I don’t know if NSW will make changes but if they do, then he’d be one guy I’d be looking hard at.

“The guy marking up against him would go to bed the night before thinking a hell of a lot about him, I have no doubt about that.

“NSW won’t ring me about James Roberts. But they see James every week ... if they can’t make a decision based on that, then I can’t help them.”

Statistically, Roberts is torching the Hayne Plane. The Broncos ace has more tries (10 to 6), more running metres (135 to 86), more line-breaks (9 to 5) and more try assists (4 to 3) than the Titans’ $1.2 million man.

The most striking statistic relates to tackle breaks, with Roberts leading Hayne 52-12 — underlining his combination of strength, speed and agility when running the ball.

Broncos legend and former Queensland Origin centre Steve Renouf has no doubt ‘The Jet’ would flourish in the code’s toughest arena.

“James has the ability to play Origin, they should give him a go,” Renouf said.

“I’ve always said we would see the best of James if the Broncos used him more in attack and this season he has been getting more ball.

“He’s a game breaker and that’s what you want at Origin level.”

After a series of off-field dramas last year, Roberts has now gone six months without touching alcohol and his more professional approach is reflected in his on-field form.

“I’ve seen a change in him,” said Broncos skipper Darius Boyd, who will miss Origin III with a broken thumb.

“I know personally with what I went through, if you’re not smiling, there’s something going on. But James is in a good space at the moment and he’s playing great football for the Broncos.”


NRL Player
Would love to see it but NSW do not have the guts to make such a change. The Jet would run rings around that pedestrian Qld backline. But we may have to wait till next year.


International Rep
Would love to see it but NSW do not have the guts to make such a change. The Jet would run rings around that pedestrian Qld backline. But we may have to wait till next year.
Pedestrian backline? Lol, come on.

Big Del

QCup Player
Can the Jet play on the left side and have the same impact?
We saw what happens when a centre with a right arm carry plays on the left . They cant fend or pass if there`s pressure from the inside . eg Hayne doesn`t pass to Morris and gets pushed into touch . Hayne on the right side is a different player .

Watched Hayne on the weekend operate on the right side . He was much more fluent albeit against weak opposition . He def looked better going to the right .


International Rep
I hope he gets picked purely so it continues the "WB will make me an origin player" theory - it bodes well for Brisbane.
I doubt he will get picked because NSW selectors are to stupid to pick him


International Captain
NSW will likely not pick him even if he was a genuine chance, just to show Bennett who's boss.


NRL Captain
Neither Hayne or Dugan scare me at centre, they're both horribly overrated.
Yeah pretty much this... I have no idea how Dugan has somehow become the "premier" right center in the media's eyes and an automatic selection. He got torched on the first try and was left in no mans land when Morgan almost slipped through at half time.

Hayne would be much better served on the right, but at the moment he looks like he needs the inside men to set him up and his work out of their own end is pitiful.

Qld made somewhat of a mistake in game 2 in that they only targeted the centers and it became extremely predictable. Early in the game we were absolutely carving both sides of the field up through their centers and because it worked they just kept going there even when it was getting shut down.

They continued to only hit the fullback on the sweep (at one point Hess was hit sweeping after a quick play the ball) in the second half and they just slid the whole time.... make them answer some questions in game 3 with variation and Cronk will nail them when they slip up. DCE would be awesome out there on the left as his vision and execution is amazing, but alas it seems Morgan is certain for the spot.


NRL Captain
North Brisbane
I still rate Hayne as NSW's best FB (sue me), with Roberts and Croker/ a form player in the centres. Teddy, Turbo, Fergie, and Mansour can fight for the wing spots.


NRL Player
Bennett is never happy - he whinges when he has too many players in SOO and whinges when he doesn't have enough.
He isn't whinging, he is simply stating that he thinks a player is good enough for Origin

Backing his player, and possibly giving him some confidence

Like, you know, every other NRL coach with talent in his side (unless they are selfish prick - I'm looking at you Paul Green)
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NRL Captain
Media: "Do you think Jimmy the Jet is a better option than Hayne for NSW?"
Bennett: "Yes I do, he is very fast and is built for origin...."

Headline: "Bennett says NSW should select Jet over Hayne"
It wouldn't have even needed to be that... I'm guessing either
"Do you believe NSW should pick Roberts?
"Is Roberts ready for Origin?"

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