Bennett wants coaching future sorted
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has called on the club to provide clarity on his coaching future beyond 2019 to allow his side to focus on the back end of the season without further distractions.
Bennett is contracted until the end of 2019 and revealed several weeks ago that he had put a proposal to Broncos CEO Paul White about his own future and a succession plan.
It is understood the proposal was tabled to the Broncos board on Wednesday.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy rejected overtures from the Broncos and elected to stay on at the Storm until the end of 2021, leaving Brisbane's coaching landscape beyond next season up in the air.
Bennett has not revealed details of his proposal but it is understood to include the veteran coach continuing his decorated career at Brisbane beyond his current contract.
Bennett said he had not heard anything back from the club in response to his proposal but hopes to soon.
"The major reason is that we don't want to have any distractions going into the back end of the season," he said.
"We've had a season of distractions here and it is remarkable what these players have done under the circumstances. It is not who the Broncos are and it is not what I want the Broncos to be, so we need to get some clarity so we can get our jobs done properly."
Bennett said it was "a bonus" that Bellamy's future had been decided.
Bennett confirmed prop Matt Lodge was in negotiations with the Broncos to stay with the club beyond 2018 but said no deal had been done.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg indicated recently that if the Broncos submitted a contract for Lodge that it would be registered after the 23-year-old took out a bank loan to compensate the victims of his New York rampage in 2015.
The Broncos host the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night but will be without star forward Tevita Pangai jnr, who has not recovered from a rib cartilage injury he sustained against the Sharks.
Korbin Sims returns from a six-week layoff (broken jaw) and will slot in on the bench, with veteran back-rower Alex Glenn elevated to the starting lineup.
The Brisbane Broncos set a top four finish as the benchmark each year, which is why Glenn said they were far from satisfied with their eighth placing on the ladder ahead of the business end of the season.
The Broncos have won five of their past seven games and opened up a four-point gap over the ninth placed Raiders.
In the final 10 rounds the Broncos play four sides above them on the ladder at Suncorp Stadium - the Warriors, Panthers, Sharks and Rabbitohs - and wins will be crucial. Glenn said the Broncos needed to improve their starts to second halves to take their game to the next level.
"The top four has always been a goal and a mindset for us every year because when it comes to semis you have that home advantage," Glenn said.
"It is the business end and we are in a good spot. We had a good win against the Sharkies. We died off at the start of the second half but our last 20 minutes is the way we want to play. We completed our last seven sets, scored a try and held them out. That is the style of footy we want to play.
"At the start of our second halves we don't complete our sets. In the first four sets against the Sharks we didn't get to our kicks which put a lot of pressure on us, so that is definitely an area where we need to pick up."