Bennett's address to WAGs works wonders
Broncos halfback Ben Hunt has credited a pre-season address by Wayne Bennett to players' partners for creating the environment that has put the club on course for a seventh premiership in 2015.
This time 12 months ago the Broncos had won just nine of 18 games but in Bennett's first year back at the club he helped to build more than 25 years ago they are sitting pretty at 15-3 and with a fifth minor premiership well and truly in their sights.
But while the exploits on the field have captured the imagination of Broncos fans across the country, Hunt said it was a frank and open discussion with the players and their partners before a ball had been kicked that has helped the playing group to develop so rapidly.
Trust has been a key foundation to the Broncos' success so far this season and the master coach went to significant lengths to reach out to the better halves of his players to make them feel included at all times.
Bennett spoke openly about the demands that would be placed on the players throughout the course of the season and the commitment they would be expected to make and encouraged wives and girlfriends to contact him directly if there were ever any issues during the course of the season.
"He just wanted to make it a more family environment and he wanted all the partners to know what was going on around the place and I think it was a great thing," Hunt told NRL.com.
"I know myself and my partner [Bridget Hagan] really got a lot from it. She knows what's going on around the place and all the demands that have to happen around here and understands a bit more some of the things we do and why we have to do them. It was really good.
"Anyone who had any issues they could go straight to him. They wouldn't have to go through someone else to try to talk to him which I believe is great from Wayne.
"He's open to anyone coming to talk to him if they have any issues about anything and they've been really good around the place."
Having signed an upgraded two-year deal to remain at the Broncos until at least the end of the 2017 season late last year, Hunt moved in with his girlfriend at the end of the year.
The 25-year-old said that the open invitation from Bennett has fostered a greater level of understanding between players and their partners and ensured that things at home are as happy as they are currently on the field.
"This year has definitely been a lot cruisier around the place and everyone knows what's going on and enjoying the year," said Hunt.
"It's just a bit of security really, knowing [Bennett] has put it out there that if they've got a problem with anything that we can go straight to him. You don't have to beat around the bush about anything, you can feel free to talk to him.
"One of the biggest things I think the partners have got out of it is that he told them some of the things we do when we're here and when we're away at football.
"It just puts their minds at ease knowing that he's got us locked down and doing the things we need to do and they just need to understand that."