Bennett eyes fairytale Broncos NRL finish
(AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)
Not everyone gets the fairytale finish.
But the farcical NRL coach swap saga has once again proved that what Wayne Bennett wants, he usually gets.
Bennett did not rule out signing off with Brisbane next year with an NRL premiership after dropping the bombshell that he would remain at Red Hill in 2019.
Bennett appeared certain to swap with South Sydney's Anthony Seibold with the Broncos even believed to have organised a Friday afternoon press conference to welcome their new mentor.
But in a classic Bennett curve ball, the 68-year-old dug in his heels.
Now he has his sights set on leaving Red Hill with an eighth premiership win to his name.
And few would doubt whether Bennett could pull it off after his latest trick.
"Fairytales are hard to come by believe me," Bennett, a veteran of 31 seasons in the NRL, said.
"But we have a team with a lot of talent here.
"(Halves) Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford ....they are the lynchpin of our team (and) we have a young forward pack with endless ability.
"It has to be proven over 26 weeks and finals - but we have the talent (to win title)."
Bennett said one of the reasons behind his stunning decision was to ensure recruitment and retention was not sabotaged at either club next year.
He cited 2019 Broncos recruit and ex-Sydney Roosters half Sean O'Sullivan as an example.
O'Sullivan - who was on standby for the injured Cooper Cronk in the 2018 NRL grand final - has arrived for Broncos pre-season training after agreeing with Bennett to sign a two-year deal.
"It is important that this is all out there now ...so when players sign a contract going forward they know I am not going to be here and that is the way it should be," Bennett said.
"Sean O'Sullivan is here because of me.
"I am pleased I will be able to have 12 months with him. I hope it helps his game."
A fairytale may be in sight for Bennett but he has ensured a nightmare for the Rabbitohs' Seibold.
Seibold was believed to have told Rabbitohs players he was leaving just moments before Bennett made his stunning call at a snap press conference on Friday.
Bennett also didn't do Seibold any favours at his press conference, inferring the swap was coming from the Rabbitohs coach's end.
"There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes,'' Bennett said.
"Obviously there's some aggravation about Anthony wanting to be here a year early and that type of stuff - but you'll have to ask them."
© AAP 2018