Bennett's BBQ cooks Rabbitohs after week of heat
A hot food stall on iconic Caxton Street had a banner up saying "Wayne's BBQ" while the Broncos were in the process of thumping the Rabbitohs 38-18 a few hundred metres away at Suncorp Stadium.
The sign was an initiative of official broadcaster Triple M and summed up a week where it emerged coach Wayne Bennett did not own a barbecue.
Punters rang up local Brisbane radio stations offering to buy him one, but all the Brisbane coach and his team wanted to buy this week was a win against Souths, his 400th at the helm of the Broncos from 628 games.
It came following two losses and seven days of headlines about Bennett's coaching future, which included his players leaving a barbecue at CEO Paul White's house to attend a spontaneous function at Bennett's joint, where ribs were on the menu.
When asked if there was any chance he would put ribs on again this week, Bennett said "the boys would like it".
"We might have another party tomorrow night at my place," he grinned.
For Bennett and his team the main thing on the menu on Thursday night was rabbits.
A hat-trick from winger Corey Oates, a powerhouse performance by the Broncos pack and a masterful kicking game from Anthony Milford secured a victory Bennett was rightfully proud of.
"We were obviously good and had a few tough moments as well, but we stayed at it in the way that we know works for us," Bennett said post-match.
"We lost our way a little bit before half-time and for 10 or 12 minutes of that second half they were all over us and scored two more tries to make it 18-all but I thought we responded great.
"Tevita [Pangai jnr] made a great run and that made a difference and then Anthony [Milford] put a kick in and got them in-goal and some of the momentum came back our way."
Bennett said during the week he was concerned the off-field distractions might impact his team but admitted that the performance perhaps suggested those dramas were superfluous.
He was philosophical when asked what the display said about his team's ability to shut out the outside noise.
"We've been in the headlines all season from the day the media decided to make Matt Lodge a target," he said.
"It really hasn't stopped at our place so it was another day and another week."
There was the obligatory dry humour in the presser. When Darius Boyd was asked why the Broncos performed so well against top eight sides and not against the bottom eight, Bennett interjected and quipped: "If you've got the answer we'll give you a coaching job."
Bennett, who is off contract at the end of 2019 and has been linked to a plethora of NRL clubs, was in form again when it was put to him there may be a few jobs available.
"I've got about five covered," he said.
Bennett was asked about whether he had been offered a specialised role in 2020 at the club, as reported on Thursday.
"That's what I love about our club right now. You can tell me about things I've never even heard about," he said. "You are better informed than I am."
The Broncos are now in seventh place on the Telstra Premiership ladder on 28 points, four clear of the Wests Tigers in ninth.
They take on the Roosters away on Saturday week, where a win will all but shore up a finals berth.
It already sounds as though "ribs" will be on the menu for Pangai this week after his coach won him over.
The powerhouse Brisbane forward was light-hearted when asked about both of the much-discussed Broncos gatherings held last Friday.
"I went to both," Pangai jnr grinned.
"Wayne's wasn't a barbecue but he had ribs and I went there again on Monday night, not to his house but the place he got them from called Ribbetts."
Ribbetts one day, Rabbits the next. Just another bizarre week at the Broncos.