Wayne Bennett on hand to pass on top tips to Leeds Rhinos

ENGLAND AND Great Britain coach Wayne Bennett has added his expertise to Leeds Rhinos’ bid for Betfred Super League survival.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 6:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 7:25 am
Wayne Bennett. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Bennett, who is also in charge of NRL club South Sydney Rabbitohs, spent a day with Rhinos during a whistle-stop visit to this country on England duty.

The 69-year-old Australian, a seven-time Grand Final winner in the southern hemisphere, stayed in Leeds during meetings with his international squad and backroom staff, which includes Rhinos’ director of rugby Kevin Sinfield.

Rhinos’ interim coach Richard Agar said: “He came into training, watched some preview, watched us train.

Kevin Sinfield and Richard Agar watching last week's defeat at St Helens. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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“He jumped in, contributed to our video sessions and gave us some feedback. He watched our game at the weekend [a 36-10 defeat away to St Helens] and gave some more feedback into Kevin after that.

“It was a terrific experience for our camp to have Wayne around and, as you’d expect, he gave us some really great little tips.”

Bennett is widely recognised as one of the greatest coaches in rugby league’s history. Agar added: “He wasn’t saying ‘you should be doing this or that’, he just gave us some of his philosophies around the game.

“Some of it is reinforcement of our own beliefs, really. He picked up on some small things and some detail and his contribution in our video meeting was welcomed and bang on the money. He was good, he had a good interaction with our players and I think he enjoyed his time with us.”

Rhinos are second from bottom in the table, ahead of Hull KR on points difference, but Agar said Bennett was “really positive” about what he saw last week.

He said: “It came about because he was in Leeds. He wanted to drop in on a couple of clubs and have a visible presence.

“He was staying in Weetwood so we were a couple of miles around the corner. I think he dropped in at another club as well, it was a short and sweet visit and he gave us some little gems to take away and some good feedback from the game. He was very positive about where we are at and where we are heading.”

Meanwhile, Rhinos’ Ava Seumanufagai has received two cautions from the Rugby Football League’s match review panel - for “raising knee” and “dangerous conduct” in the loss at Saints. Both incidents involved Saints forward Dom Peyroux.

Fellow Leeds prop Mikolaj Oledzki will face no further action over a high tackle on Zeb Taia, who suffered a dislocated shoulder after falling awkwardly.

The challenge was not punished by referee Ben Thaler, but the panel described it as “worthy of [an] on-field penalty”.

Rhinos are hoping to complete the signing of Salford Red Devils stand-off Robert Lui in time for him to face Catalans Dragons at Emerald Headingley on Sunday. They are set to release Matt Parcell from his contract, due to expire at the end of next season, to clear space on their overseas quota.

Parcell will join Hull KR - if they in turn can make room for an overseas recruit - with fellow hooker Shaun Lunt moving the other way.