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There's much to be learned from a Wayne Bennett press conference.

As a journalist it is the highlight of my rugby league week, the chance to gather with a dozen other journos and hear the teachings of legendary Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.

It wasn't always so, but the day before each game Bennett now stands sentinel at the club's Red Hill training base like Moses at Mt Sinai, offering his insights into the inner workings of rugby league and his club.

Or not, and that's the beauty of a Wayne Bennett press conference, it can go all Forrest Gump in terms of what you're going to get.

During the season he would offer clear and considered thought that only comes from a lifetime in the game on the seemingly most complex issues, but in recent weeks the answers have become significantly shorter.

Or perhaps our line of questioning has become significantly poorer.

On the eve of the ladder-leading Broncos taking on the premiership favourites in the Roosters, Bennett was asked the full gamut of questions across a precious 10-minute window after the final training session of the week.


It starts with the obligatory team updates which on Friday included Jack Reed and Lachlan Maranta being relieved of their duties in favour of Dale Copley and Corey Oates.

It was suggested that Oates' size on the wing would be a handy addition against the likes of Daniel Tupou and Blake Ferguson.

"If he brings his brain it will be handy." 

Often Bennett will warm up after a few questions and be a bit more expansive and the evolution of the interview is fascinating, entertaining and challenging for all the news-types in attendance.

Where is the gold going to come from? Will it come at all?

After close to 30 years of coaching at the highest level, is he excited about the prospect of the two front-runners for the minor premiership meeting three weeks out from the start of the Telstra Premiership Finals Series?

"Do I look excited?"

OK, next question.

What does the 'booze ban' Roosters players have committed to say about their commitment to the cause in 2015?

"They'll have a boring month but best of luck to them," said the noted teetotaller.

Everyone who has gathered – including a few fans who have wandered across to stand within earshot of Wayne's wise words – want to hear him build up one of the biggest contests of the season so we can get hits on a website, sell newspapers or attract TV viewers, but that's not his job.

Given the fireworks between he and Sam Thaiday in Round 6, does he think that Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is the premier prop in the game at present?

"His form's great but I don't rate them mate, that's your job."

Can he compare the footwork of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to any other player he has seen over the course of his illustrious career?

"He's a unique player mate, they're all unique."

Will back-to-back games against the Roosters and Rabbitohs in Sydney just five days apart be a telling period in the Broncos' season?

"I'm like you, I've got to wait and see. I've got no crystal ball, I can't tell you anything until we get out there and play and see what happens."

But the issue of the week is the shoulder charge and it was apparent Bennett caught the throng off-guard with his response to three players escaping suspensions at the judiciary on Wednesday night.

A member of the NRL rules committee, Bennett has been critical of the NRL in a number of areas during the course of the season but on this occasion applauded a system that permits a successful defence to be made.

"The match review committee charged some players and the judiciary found them not to be guilty and I think that's a wonderful system, we should applaud it," Bennett said. "It's not a closed shop.

"I thought it was a great win for the game personally."

But isn't there a mixed message that is confusing the rugby league public?

"I know what a shoulder charge is and I'm not confused."

Simple as that.

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