Renouf: Who can replace Bennett?
BRONCOS legend Steve Renouf says Brisbane would be making a grave mistake by sacking Wayne Bennett and has called for the super coach to be handed a contract extension.
As Bennett fights to save his career at the Broncos, his former try-scoring strike-weapon Renouf says the 68-year-old has not lost the passion and ability that has delivered all of Brisbane's six premierships.
Since Bennett's return to the club in 2015, the Broncos have never missed the finals and will move within striking distance of a fourth consecutive playoffs campaign if they beat Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.
Bennett has asked the Broncos board for a one-year extension to coach the club in 2020 and Renouf believes the high-level decision is a simple one.
"I think Wayne deserves another deal to be honest," said Renouf, Brisbane's greatest try-scorer with 142 tries from 183 games.
"I'm not sure what exactly Wayne had in his proposal but if he is keen to go for one more year, I'd have no problem with that.
"The question is, is there a better coach out there to replace him? Most coaches are second-stringers compared to Wayne.
"Craig Bellamy is one guy that could have replaced Wayne, but he has decided to stay in Melbourne and most of the good coaches are tied up long-term at other clubs, so they can't go past Wayne Bennett."
Renouf claims Bennett's ability to mentor the next generation of Broncos young guns headed by Tevita Pangai Jr, Jaydn Su'A and Payne Haas is evidence he is not out of touch.
"He is doing a very good job with this unit of players, including the younger blokes," he said.
"He has been able to turn the team around and he is getting something out of this playing group.
"You only have to see it in the way they are playing. They have had some disappointing games but the fact is they are two wins off the competition lead.
"Their performance against Penrith last week (a 50-18 drubbing at Suncorp Stadium) … you couldn't ask for any more from a coach.
"Wayne has been around too long not to notice if he has to improve. He has vision and the courage to make tough decisions.
"I hope the club's bosses don't underestimate what he brings to a footy team and a club like the Broncos."