World News – UA – Why Parramatta fought off Wayne Bennett


Parramatta rejected an approach that could have caused Wayne Bennett to coach the Eels instead of the Rabbitohs in Saturday night’s final at Bankwest Stadium

An acting middleman for Bennett approached Eels President Sean McElduff as the latter stepped in to replace his predecessor Max Donnelly at the end of the 2018 season At that point, Bennett’s Brisbane job was on shaky ground, although there was an extra season left on his contract

At the same time, Brad Arthur was also a man under pressure Eels had to take it to another level in 2018 after finishing in the top four the previous season However, Arthur’s team never came out of the blocks, failing to recover after losing their first six matches. They ended the season with the Wooden Spoon, prompting a full review that some believe could cost Arthur his job.

It was in this environment that a meeting was held in which an associate of Bennett voiced the veteran coach’s desire to coach Parramatta as countless managers claimed to represent the man 70 years old without his knowledge or consent, the eels were convinced that this approach was genuine

The third expressed Bennett’s desire to work at a big Sydney club and pointed to his unparalleled record of seven PM posts as proof he could turn blue and gold into a real contender

However, McElduff, in his first big decision as president, had already identified the man he believed would lead Parramatta to ultimate great glory

Rabbitoh coach Wayne Bennett stands between the Eels and a shot in a big qualifying finalCredit: Getty

« We thought Brad Arthur could do better than what the 2018 results reflected, » McElduff told the Herald. « We had faith in him and we showed that faith He paid him back »

Indeed, the Eels finished the 2019 season in fifth place and improved in third this year Bennett, meanwhile, was sacked by Brisbane around the time the Eels refused the lead. and joined South Sydney Bennett now stands between Parramatta and a chance to progress to the penultimate game of the season, adding an intriguing subplot to Saturday’s playoff encounter

The Rabbitohs surrounded Parramatta 38-0 in their previous round 16 clash, with striking ends Maiko Sivo and Blake Ferguson missing the Eels for the rematch Sivo suffered a tear from the MCL, while Ferguson was ruled out from a knee injury on Friday night when the Eels reduced their team to 19

« We need 17 fit players against a very good Rabbitohs squad We have to trust our medics, » Arthur said earlier Friday in his pre-match press conference

Parramatta’s current campaign echoes their 2017 postseason That year, they ran into a white-hot Cowboys squad who made an unlikely run to the decider This year, the Suds turn into team in shape after scoring 106 points in wins against Roosters and Newcastle

“It’s very similar,” said Arthur. “But I think going into that Cowboys game we were surprised we didn’t respect them enough because they had quite a few players out there

« We could have been the favorites [at a discount] to win this game The southerners are the favorites in this game and in the eyes of a lot of people probably deserve to be, but that’s not really about us

« We have a different approach, a different mentality, a different team than we were in 17

« I hope we’ve learned a few of these lessons. We must have played Melbourne three or four times in our five or six [finals] games or whatever

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Parramatta Eels, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wayne Bennett, Blake Ferguson, Brad Arthur

World News – UA – Why Parramatta pushed Wayne Bennett away


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