THE Maitland Maniac's annus horribilis goes from bad to worse as the Raiders beat his beloved Bulldogs 26-10 in the national capital.
The Maniac hates Ricky Stuart almost as much as he loves disgraced ball-tamperer Davey Warner.
The sight of Sticky on the sideline, whooping it up after every Canberra try, may well be enough to tip the Maniac over the edge.
Speaking of which, Seven Days hasn't copped one of his obscenity-riddled, hand-written diatribes for weeks, possibly because the Maniac has been restrained by a straitjacket.
I RAISE an eyebrow after watching the video of Wayne Bennett's weekly press conference in the Banana Republic, in particular when he shares his thoughts on Brisbane's next opponents, the Newcastle Knights.
Benny says Knights coach Nathan Brown has “done a good job there” … but he’s not sure exactly what he’s done well, other than rebuilding what he has “unbuilt”.
One of Wayne’s most endearing traits is his uncanny ability to re-write history. Today he claims he “didn’t leave it [the Knights] in bad shape” when he left in 2014 to rejoin the Broncos.
But at the time, I seem to recall him offering the following explanation for bailing out of Newcastle: “The end result is we haven’t played like I think we're capable of playing, and the buck stops with me ... I’m extremely disappointed.
“I’m embarrassed by it. It’s time to move on.”
The great man finds a supportive scribe at one of our rival papers, who writes that “Newcastle can't keep blaming Wayne Bennett forever”.
It's a valid point. I mean, forever is a long time.
Surely there has to be a statute of limitations on how long we can keep blaming Wayne. I'd suggest 25 years is a fair and reasonable time frame.
COACH Brown arrives in good spirits for the post-match press conference after his team’s 15-10 triumph against the Broncos.
It’s all fairly innocuous until my Herald colleague Barry Toohey tosses up a googly and asks Brown how he thinks his “rebuild” is coming along.
Normally Browny would play a dead bat, but today he charges down the track and dispatches it over the grandstand.
“It’s a bit sad,” he says. “The old fox, he’s won seven premierships, he’s coached for 30 years, and I ain’t ever publicly bagged Wayne or anyone. And then he comes and has a shot at me.
“I just don't think he needs to behave like that.
“The reality is when Wayne came to town, if he thought with his big head rather than his little head, I wouldn't have had to rebuild the joint.”
And, with that, he exits the room, leaving the assembled media in a state of disbelief.
I’m not really sure what Browny is alluding to. I was always under the impression the old fox thought with his wallet.
BROWNY’S press conference has not surprisingly gone viral.
Speaking on Foxtel, former Knights player Alex McKinnon, who is friends with both Bennett and Brown, insists the latter was not referring to that little head.
“I spoke to him [Brown] referring to the ‘little head’ statement, and I think it's been taken completely out of context," McKinnon said. “It was referring to Wayne’s short-term mindset in regards to winning competitions at the Newcastle Knights … it definitely had nothing to do with his relationship.”
Hmm. I guess there are a lot of people out there with one-track minds who have jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Some are saying it’s the biggest sledge the old fox has copped in his 95 years as a first-grade coach, but I disagree.
I still reckon the gold medal goes to former Knights enforcer Mark Taufua, for his comments posted on Twitter in 2011 that revealed Benny was in Newcastle, talking to the players he would soon be coaching, as his St George Illawarra team was preparing for a do-or-die final.
“Just laughing about Wayne Bennett!” Taufua tweeted. “Dis guy is coach of da Dragons but is havin a meeting wit all my boys.
“Sounds like I'm hating but he's a 9ball and I wish he was a player so I could fold him like my washing bahahahahaba #EatDeez.”
Exactly what a “9ball” is, I have no idea. Presumably it’s not a flattering term.
NEWS that coach Brown and the old fox have spoken over the phone leaves Seven Days with mixed emotions.
Obviously it is a relief that they have made some attempt to reconcile, but I can’t help wondering if this is an opportunity wasted.
Instead of resolving their differences in private, maybe they could have called a joint press conference, which would surely have rated the house down.
I can just picture the old fox opening proceedings with his best Dirty Harry impersonation: “Go ahead, punk. Make my day.”
THE weekly League HQ tipping-panel scoreboard update arrives and I am alarmed to discover my name in last place, two points adrift of my nearest rival, and three points behind the perennially hopeless Underdog.
This is a disgrace. I’m going to have a word with the scorekeeper. If he doesn’t lift his game, he’ll be sacked.
THE time-honoured journalistic adage “what’s old is new” springs to mind after CCTV footage emerges of Kiwi stars Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor snorting cocaine.
The incident happened after the Anzac Test in Canberra almost a year ago, and both players were sanctioned at the time.
The vision apparently surfaced during an ABC investigation into former footy players busted dealing cocaine, and is presumably an unwanted stroll down memory lane for Bromwich and Proctor, who have by all accounts been keeping their noses clean and toeing the line for the past 12 months.
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