James Robert is reuniting with Wayne Bennett.
James Robert is reuniting with Wayne Bennett.

Madness: Broncos risk one of NRL’s greatest-ever clangers

AS far as feeding the enemy goes, this one could go down as one of the greatest-ever clangers.

Brisbane have spoonfed Wayne Bennett the perfect opportunity to rub his former bosses' noses in what could potentially be one of the most satisfying "up yours" of all time.

Even if James Roberts wasn't in Anthony Seibold's plans for this year, why on earth would the Broncos want to release the dynamic centre and, of all clubs, allow him to join not only one of the NRL's most powerful squads but a team coached by the bloke they recently booted out the door?

Just so it could make Bennett's table-topping South Sydney an even stronger side.

It is madness. It could ultimately leave Bennett, 69, laughing all the way to another premiership because there is no doubt the Rabbitohs are an even greater threat with Roberts.

Already outright competition leaders heading into Friday night's game against Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium, the Rabbitohs have shortened in premiership betting on the back of Roberts' signing.

As Bennett said without necessarily saying as much, there is a lot more to understanding the intricacies of being an NRL head coach than what you can learn on a study trip to Harvard.

And the most obvious thing is that you don't give one of your strongest opponents a free hit.

Wayne Bennett and James Roberts have been reunited at South Sydney. Picture: Annette Dew
Wayne Bennett and James Roberts have been reunited at South Sydney. Picture: Annette Dew

"He is just that X-factor you want in your players, you can't have it in all your players, I understand that, but he brings that, and an ability to make something out of nothing," Bennett said of Roberts.

Asked why he thought he could get the best out of the troubled 26-year-old, Bennett said: "Well, I have worked with him for three years. I was the reason he came to the Broncos.

"I kind of get him and he gets me."

And Bennett couldn't help but take a sly dig at the man who replaced him at Brisbane.

"I think I made a point of that yesterday,'' he said.

"If you want choir boys then James is not your man.

James Roberts’ signing has shortened South Sydney’s premiership odds. Picture: AAP
James Roberts’ signing has shortened South Sydney’s premiership odds. Picture: AAP

"I have coached long enough to understand that the basic principle is we are all different and you can't make them all into one.

"So you are better off dealing with the individuals within the group and make them into a team."

How Bennett stopped himself from laughing, who knows.

In recent weeks Bennett has had to cop playing back-rowers Kyle Turner and Ethan Lowe in the centres, but once Roberts runs out for next round's clash against Newcastle it will take the competition leaders to a new level.

James Roberts brings an X-factor to the Rabbitohs. Picture: AAP
James Roberts brings an X-factor to the Rabbitohs. Picture: AAP

Already this year the Broncos have strengthened the Warriors through the release of Kodi Nikorima, and prior to that allowed Josh McGuire to shift to North Queensland.

If Bennett didn't already have a squad capable of matching it with the star-studded roster of the Sydney Roosters, he sure does now.

And what makes it even sweeter is that he has the club that unceremoniously sent him packing last year to thank for it.