21 hours ago
Wayne Bennett has opened up about the day he told his players he was walking away from the Broncos.
Almost 600 guests at a Brisbane football lunch enjoyed a rare insight into Bennett's private emotions as he talked about the day he broke the news to his players last month.
He didn't say it publicly.
But the man renowned for keeping people guessing about his emotions with his poker face, was churning up inside when he delivered the words "I'm leaving" to his players.
"I tried not to be melodramatic about it," said Bennett.
"It happens, that's life, you have to move on and the decision has been made."
The day Bennett addressed his players behind closed doors he released a statement to the media declaring he would not comment further on his decision.
On Wednesday, in a more casual atmosphere with Lions coach and AFL legend Leigh Matthews and new Queensland Reds coach Phil Mooney, he relented, indicating February 5 was a pretty tough day at the office.
"The guys were great with it, we just got on with it," he said.
"I haven't mentioned it since and no-one talks about it, we just get on with it and that's the way it should be," said Bennett almost nonchalantly.
"You expect everyone to handle things like men, that's part of your coaching and that's part of what you do when you are dealing with young men that you have a great influence on.
"When your time comes there's no-one who has to be more of a man than you have to be."
Bennett, who has since signed on to coach St George Illawarra next season, said he needed to be strong and keep his emotions hidden when he told his players before announcing the news to the world.
"It's a bit like when you are sick, you've got to be the bravest person because everyone else is feeling it for you," he said.
"If you show weakness it just shatters everyone around you.
"I knew what I had to do and did it as calmly as I could."