NEWS Garry Schofield : Boring Wayne Bennett squeezes any enjoyment out of the game

McHunt

NRL Player
1,920
2,073
Sunshine Coast
Wayne Bennett has come under fire from 46-cap Great Britain legend Garry Schofield, who claims the decorated coach “squeezes any enjoyment out of the game”.

The seven-time premiership winner has coached England since 2016, and brought them agonisingly close to a World Cup win in 2017.

And with the reformation of Great Britain Lions – a combination of the best players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland – for their first game since 2007 taking part this year, Bennett was handed that position too. But things haven’t gone to plan. The Lions lost to Tonga in Hamilton before falling to New Zealand in Auckland last weekend. They have scored just two tries in 160 minutes of rugby league, and it led to Schofield to pen a withering column.

Writing in a League Express column headlined “Wayne is boring the pants off us”, Schofield said: “This week, it’s boring, boring, boring. In fact, I’ve just woken up in time to beat the deadline, and I have to start by asking, with a World Cup on home soil in two years’ time, is Wayne Bennett really the coach to take us forward?

Gary Freeman of New Zealand and Garry Schofield of Great Britain lead out the teams

Gary Freeman of New Zealand and Garry Schofield of Great Britain lead out the teamsSource: Getty Images

“No one is disputing his superb record in the Australian club game, but this is Great Britain, and as I’ve said before, I’m not convinced Wayne understands our game, our players or our fans. And I’m not really convinced he wants to, which becomes a big problem.

“We’re a professional sport that needs spectators, not just because we have a World Cup to sell, but because we have a domestic game, which also needs a shot in the arm. “But in Wayne’s world, that seems to be the last consideration, whether it’s the product he serves up or the way he reacts when asked perfectly reasonable questions.”

James Graham captain of Great Britain looks for a gap

James Graham captain of Great Britain looks for a gapSource: Getty Images

Great Britain trailed for most of the game against the Kiwis, before throwing caution to the wind in a fiery final 20 minutes.

Schofield, who played for Balmain and Western Suburbs as well as Hull FC and Leeds, argued that the Lions were too conservative and played a dull “structured” style which limited their ability to attack. He continued: “After Saturday’s 12-8 defeat by a similarly unadventurous New Zealand side in Auckland I heard Wayne quote Vince Lombardi, the famous American football coach, in saying: ‘We didn’t lose the game, we just can out of time.’

Jackson Hastings and Josh Jones make a tackle for Great Britain

Jackson Hastings and Josh Jones make a tackle for Great BritainSource: Getty Images

“What a load of rubbish! We all know how long a game lasts, and it’s obvious that if you don’t abandon a predictable, structured may of playing until the last quarter of the match, you’re asking for trouble.

“Not only does Wayne seem to squeeze any enjoyment out of the game, either for fans or players, but he also appears to try to squeeze any individuality out of his players. “Jackson Hastings is a prime example, because he hasn’t been allowed to do the things that made him so great for Salford this year, and as a result, he looks nothing like the same player. I don’t think that partnership with Gareth Widdop works at all.

Tom Burgess of Great Britain is tackled by Jason Taumalolo captain of Tonga

Tom Burgess of Great Britain is tackled by Jason Taumalolo captain of TongaSource: Getty Images

“Having been in the NRL for no long, Widdop is used to playing that structured system, but Jackson isn’t, and that causes a clash, and prevents Jackson from expressing himself in the way that made him such a dangerous player for Salford.” Great Britain’s tour continues this week with a trip to Christchurch in a rematch with New Zealand. They will be without the Roosters’ Ryan Hall, who dislocated a knee, leaving them with just one fit winger.

Ryan Hall fends off Benji Marshall

Ryan Hall fends off Benji MarshallSource: Getty Images

Despite the lack of widemen - Jermaine McGillvary being the only fit winger - Bennett picked six players who could play in the halves for the tour including Jake Trueman of Castleford, incoming Canberra half George Williams and Warrington’s Blake Austin, who are yet to see any gametime. The Lions are already missing superstar prop Luke Thompson and centre Oliver Gildart who won’t feature again due to injury.

 
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Cult3

State of Origin Captain
8,958
5,970
I don't really understand how Bennett cops it for being boring more than Bellamy does. The Storm over the last two years (Since adding Addo-Carr really) have been pretty entertaining whilst also ruining the sport entirely, but Bennett had more than 2 years of entertaining footy over his time. And noooo this isn't me sticking up for Bennet, it's more wondering how Bellamy gets away with everything.
 

mitch222

State of Origin Rep
5,908
3,354
He has a point but then kills it with the Hastings comment. What people do in the super league just doesn't translate over here where the real players are.
In total overall, the international fixtures in the past 3 weeks have been nothing short of a let down across pretty much all games involving the top tier nations. The players just don't seem to give a **** at the moment besides Tonga who low and behold actually won both their games
 

Morkel

International Captain
Staff
21,043
17,363
I don't really understand how Bennett cops it for being boring more than Bellamy does. The Storm over the last two years (Since adding Addo-Carr really) have been pretty entertaining whilst also ruining the sport entirely, but Bennett had more than 2 years of entertaining footy over his time. And noooo this isn't me sticking up for Bennet, it's more wondering how Bellamy gets away with everything.
Because it's Bellamy. The NRL and the media are happy to ignore how toxic he is to league, purely because his cheating and horrible sportsmanship has brought success to a region that the NRL desperately wants to be league-relevant.
 

Nashy

International Captain
Staff
39,585
14,524
Brisbane
I don't really understand how Bennett cops it for being boring more than Bellamy does. The Storm over the last two years (Since adding Addo-Carr really) have been pretty entertaining whilst also ruining the sport entirely, but Bennett had more than 2 years of entertaining footy over his time. And noooo this isn't me sticking up for Bennet, it's more wondering how Bellamy gets away with everything.
He wins. Wayne doesn't.
 

Dexter

State of Origin Rep
5,288
2,297
I don't really understand how Bennett cops it for being boring more than Bellamy does. The Storm over the last two years (Since adding Addo-Carr really) have been pretty entertaining whilst also ruining the sport entirely, but Bennett had more than 2 years of entertaining footy over his time. And noooo this isn't me sticking up for Bennet, it's more wondering how Bellamy gets away with everything.
I don't think Bellamy is boring just methodical. Storm have a lot going on around the ball but WBs style is very one out and efort based.
Seibold has him covered though.
 

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