Bennett considers coaching behind posts

Matt Encarnacion
Wayne Bennett might leave the grandstand to coach his South Sydney side from behind the goalposts

Wayne Bennett believes the best place to coach is behind the goalposts.

So without a raucous Suncorp Stadium crowd to goad him, that's exactly where he might stand when South Sydney visit Brisbane on Friday night.

"I was thinking about that," Bennett said when asked whether he would consider coaching from the sideline against the Broncos.

"The best place to coach from is behind the goalposts. So maybe I'll head tomorrow. I got a stadium to make a choice - I like that."

Bennett has spent most of his 33 years coaching first grade, which includes seven premierships, standing behind play during training sessions.

And almost all of those were done devoid of heaving grandstands as well, which is what will be waiting for both teams due to the coronavirus lockdown.

"There was nobody to watch us train this morning. We spend most of our life training without anybody watching us," Bennett said on Thursday.

"So I've got no fear about that at all.

"I just know men. Men are competitive. They want to play a game of marbles, they want to beat each other. I don't think it'll have an influence at all.

"We love crowds and we love the atmosphere. But I think once the game gets under playing conditions, instinct will just take over and they'll do their best."

Bennett also insists his players will need to be at their best to shut down David Fifita following his early entry for try of the season last week.

The Broncos tearaway single-handedly beat six players, including one forward he fended off a second time, on an electric 70-metre solo effort.

Bennett likened Fifita's impact to Johnathan Thurston and Gorden Tallis.

"He's a handful, everybody knows that," he said.

"There's always been great players in the game, whether it was Thurston or Tallis, those type of guys, all hard to tackle.

"Johnathan always was hard to read because of his great skill level.

"But you find a way to do it. You have a plan. Will you stop him in every run? No, you probably don't. But you stop them more times than not."

The Broncos have been forced to make one change to the side that toppled North Queensland last week, with Tevita Pangai Junior suspended for four games.

Jamil Hopoate starts in the back row, with Ethan Bullemor to debut off the bench, while the Rabbitohs are unchanged.

The game also marks the second Rabbitohs start for Latrell Mitchell, who was substituted after 55 minutes last week.

"I'm not pushing too hard with him at the moment," Bennett said.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Rabbitohs' 11 wins from 40 games against Brisbane is their second worst record against any club in the competition (five from 31 against Melbourne).

* Brisbane have lost eight of 10 games without Tevita Pangai Junior since 2018, averaging 14 less points while conceding almost 29.

* Anthony Seibold has never won against Wayne Bennett in four tries, losing both games against his former team, South Sydney, last season.