Queensland legend Gorden Tallis has slammed Wayne Bennett’s reaction to Brisbane denying him his request of a contract extension.
The former Brisbane captain has a long history with the supercoach, but has unleashed a scathing criticism of his handling of the coaching situation.
“He’s taken it a bit like Andrew Fifita did the other day and sticking his finger up without the actions,” Tallis said on Fox Sports.
“Wayne is going at the club and he is trying to dismantle them at the moment.
“Paul White and the board have made a decision, that is best for the club.
“It is the bosses tapping him on the shoulder and Wayne has tapped so many players on the shoulder and we’ve all had to take it.
“Now he is getting tapped on the shoulder and he is not liking it.”
Broncos CEO Paul White has made it clear that they don’t intend to offer Bennett another coaching contract at the club.
But that hasn’t sat too well with the coach who has spent 25 years at the helm of the club.
Bennett made it quite public of his desire to continue coaching despite knowing of the club’s intentions, and Tallis believes Bennett’s inability to accept the decision is have negative implications.
“He has put feelers out for other jobs and if there is another job, he is going to leave them in the lurch for next year,” Tallis said.
“Wayne is throwing all the toys out of the cot at the moment and I’d like him to respect the decision that the club is making.
“The club is bigger than any one coach or player.”
Kevin Walters doesn’t think Wayne Bennett will be leaving Brisbane next year but will throw his hat in the ring if the Broncos job becomes available in the next 12 months.
Brisbane have guaranteed Bennett will see out his contract in 2019 but there is speculation the master coach may pull the plug at NRL season’s end after the Broncos rejected his pitch to stay on in 2020.
South Sydney’s Anthony Seibold and ex-Rabbitohs premiership-winning mentor Michael Maguire have already been linked to the Broncos job.
While Walters – the Queensland State of Origin coach – said he had not contacted Brisbane, he kept the door open for an approach.
However, Walters expected Bennett to see out his 26th – and it seems final – season at the Brisbane helm next year.
“No, we haven’t (had contact with Broncos). There is a bit going on in the coaching world but I think it is smart just to stay back,” Walters told Sky Sports Radio.
“I am really happy with what I am doing (at Queensland), I keep saying that.
“As far as I can see Wayne Bennett will be coaching the Broncos next year; I don’t think that will change.
“But if that position becomes available in the next 12 months then certainly you’d like to think we would have a look at it.”
Broncos CEO Paul White was forced to hold a press conference last week to address speculation swirling around Bennett’s future.
But ex-Brisbane captain Walters believed his former club had handled the situation well.
“There has been speculation around Wayne (but), Wayne Bennett has a contract at the Broncos for next year – I don’t know why everyone is jumping up and down,” he said.
“They are not in a hurry (to make a coaching call) the Broncos and Paul White has said that.
“They will make a decision when they have to. It doesn’t have to be right now.
“At the end of the season they will make a decision on who is coaching in 2020, not 2019.
“There is still plenty of time for the Broncos to make a decision on who they want to take their team forward.”
Bennett, 68, had hoped to stay on in 2020 before moving aside to a football director role with current assistant Jason Demetriou taking over as head coach.
Bennett has made no secret of his desire to coach into his 70s and has not ruled extending his glittering career at another club.