Bennett's aura still intact: Sims
Korbin Sims has jumped to the defence of coach Wayne Bennett amid claims from former Broncos that the veteran coach has lost his aura.
Brisbane foundation prop Greg Dowling last week said that Ben Hunt signing with the Dragons and Jarrod Wallace leaving for the Titans was evidence of Bennett's demise as the game's most sought after coach.
Dowling has questioned why players are leaving Brisbane for big-money deals when they once stayed at the club for less money just to be coached by Bennett.
Australia's most successful NRL coach, Bennett has had some lean years since last winning the premiership with St George Illawarra in 2010. He is now under intense pressure to go all the way in 2017 after an 11-year premiership drought at the Broncos.
It's hoped the recruitment of Sims from the Knights will improve Brisbane's chances of lifting the premiership trophy, with the side's depth now at an all-time high after a busy off-season.
For Sims, a return to the club that first signed him as a teenager was a dream come true, with the Fijian international relishing the opportunity to reunite with Bennett.
Bucking the trend of big-money deals, the 25-year-old took a huge pay cut to return to Red Hill and play under Bennett, and for him that's more than enough proof that the master coach still has pulling power.
"He's Wayne Bennett. It's pretty simple," Sims said.
"He signed me up here when I was a 15-year-old and I've never looked at him differently.
"He hasn't lost any aura in my eyes.
"It's an absolute poppycock that people have said otherwise."
It's a statement captain Darius Boyd agrees with with after a long career playing under Bennett, starting with a premiership win in his debut year at the Broncos in 2006.
Since then Boyd has gone on to play under Bennett at the Dragons and the Knights, before returning with Bennett to the Broncos at the start of the 2015 season.
The veteran fullback said he has come to expect negative comments about the Broncos and Bennett because of how successful both the club and coach have been in the past.
"I think comments like that are just something that comes with being at this club," Boyd said.
"There's always going to be pressure on you when you're a Bronco and are involved at a club with this much history.
"There will always be pressure. It doesn't matter if you are captain, coach or a player.
"At the end of the day we don't focus on the comments. It's a hard enough job as it is.
"We are focused on performing on the field and that's it."