5 days ago
If you were framing a market on who's the best coach in the NRL, Wayne Bennett would be the clear favourite, but what would be your pecking order behind the clipboard king?
Our competition is representative of the three types of rugby league coaches - the Head Coach (career coach with a proven track record), the Mini-bus (an under-performing coach) and the Econovan (rookie coach with minimal experience).
In my ranking of the NRL coaches, I have based my the criteria on the players at the club during their tenure, their achievements at both club and representative level.
1. WAYNE BENNETT. Won six titles in 20 seasons with the Brisbane Broncos and has had an immediate impact at the Dragons. Must be said had star-studded rosters throughout his tenure. Bennett loses points over his average Origin record and the fact he was at the helm when Australia was belted by New Zealand in a Tri-Series final. Ironically, he redeems points for his role as assistant to World Cup-winning Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney.
2. BRIAN SMITH. This may surprise, but Smith's record is very impressive. He has longevity but more importantly he gets results. Did incredibly well in England with unfashionable club Hull finishing runner-up twice in the three years (1988-89). Inspired St George to over-achieve twice in the 1990s to reach the grand final, losing on both occasions to Brisbane sides brimming with Queensland Origin players and one of NSW