Maroons legends Wally Lewis and Darren lockyer have lifted the lid on what makes Maroons coach Wayne Bennett the master of the halftime address.
Maroons legends Wally Lewis and Darren lockyer have lifted the lid on what makes Maroons coach Wayne Bennett the master of the halftime address.

Maroons legends reveal secrets that make Bennett talk master

Maroons legends Wally Lewis and Darren lockyer have lifted the lid on what makes Maroons coach Wayne Bennett the master of the halftime address.

Queensland were down 10-0 in Origin I, before Bennett managed to inspire his inexperienced Maroons side to a gutsy comeback 18-14 win to take a 1-0 series lead into Game II.

Lewis believes the key to Bennett's halftime talks centre on his ability to simplify the game and what he wants his charges to do.

"He doesn't beat around the bush, he just makes it as simple as possible for the players," Lewis told Wide World of Sports' QLDER.

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"That's been one of the great strengths of Bennett, he's never made things too tough for a lot of the players.

"I can remember we had a couple of front-rowers, the message that came through was, 'Catch the ball, run forward, knock the opposition over, get up fast, play the ball, and get ready to run fast and catch the ball once again, do you understand that?'. This particular person said, 'Yes', and he said, 'Well, stick to it'.

"Wayne was pretty smart with his directions to a lot of the players throughout that time because he knew that there were also plenty of players that were extremely nervous coming into what was the biggest game of their lives, and if he wanted to make it too critical what his demands were for that player, it was going to make it a little bit difficult for them."

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Lockyer also lauded Bennett's ability to sum up the state of the game at halftime in order to correct areas that his teams might be struggling in.

"He's been good at assessing where they're at as a team and what they need to do to get a bit more luck, so to speak," Lockyer told QLDER.

Wayne Bennett knows how to keep his halftime talks simple.
Wayne Bennett knows how to keep his halftime talks simple.

"10-0 down, I think we were probably lucky and I think he would have said, 'Righto guys, we're in this game, we just have to change a few things'.

"A couple of players have said post-game that (they) were probably too lateral in the first half and they aimed to be more direct in the second half and that's what they did. They kept it simple.

"We talk about instilling belief, we've got Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett there giving messages about situations they've been in before (and) all the players, whether they're experienced or younger, are just going to buy into that and go with (them)."

Originally published as Maroons legends reveal secrets that make Bennett halftime talk master



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