KNIGHTS INSIDER - Wayne Bennett
Saturday 16 February 2013 10:00 AM
After a big week in sport and on the eve of trials kicking off, coach Wayne Bennett is back answering questions submitted by Knights Members and supporters in this week's Knights Insider.
Chris Young via email: You are taking a big squad to Coffs Harbour this week, do you expect everyone to get game time?
Wayne Bennett: Yes ideally everyone will play on Saturday night in Coffs Harbour. We have picked two teams and have four players on the bench for this game.
Knights: To find out who is in the starting 13 for Saturday's game, CLICK HERE.
@tra86v via Twitter: What are you looking for in the trials? Are you still looking at player’s positions for this year?
WB: Yes a little bit of that (looking at player's positions) and we are also looking at getting some practice behind us. As we need a little bit of conditioning to start the season off.
@tezzhardes via Twitter: In trial games what are you looking for, young/fringe players or playing time for the more experience player?
WB: We are looking for a little bit of both. We want to get something out of them and give our match fitness a bit of priming. In some cases we will be looking to see what the final team make-up will be.
Chris via email: With Bedsy calling it quits at the end of the year the only two hookers I can see off contract are Robbie Farah and Nath Peats. Are these two on your radar or is there any good young kids in the club you think could make the step up?
WB: We will see how things pan out in the next few months. We have a couple of players in the Club that might be able to step up for us. We also have Kurt Gidley who we all know can play hooker if he has to.
@marathonstadium via Twitter: There isn't many players left from 2005-2011. Have you spoken to players potentially linked about any possible issues back then?
WB: I have spoken to the players but not about the past. As you aware, we are bound by confidentiality but I am confident about what we are doing at the Knights.
@dylanswan via Twitter: Hey Wayne, One thing the knights have been missing recently is leg speed hitting the line. Have you been working on this?
WB: Yes we have been actually. We are trying to make them stronger and a bit faster.
Darrel Nash via Facebook: Before I join the club 'as a MEMBER' I ask - ARE THE KNIGHTS CLEAN???
WB: That is a definite yes!
Knights: We hope to see you join up as a Member! For more details, CLICK HERE.
@boy_from_oz via Twitter: As a member I'd expect a proven drug cheat to be released, named & shamed, would you take this hard line also?
WB: We don’t have any say on that, ASADA does all that and it is the game’s policy to do all the things that you mentioned.
@skulzy87 via Twitter: How's the squad sitting compared to this time last season?
WB: I think we are much better. We are also a lot better prepared and settled.
Trent via email: Just out of interest, red bull and caffeine, why are these drinks banned for players before games?
WB: We ban them because we think they are an unnecessary supplement and we don’t want our players getting addicted to that type of stuff and thinking they need it to play well. It is a bit of a myth all that stuff and at the end of the day I am a big believer in not having any excuses to why you can’t play well.
Josh Hill via email: Now the salary cap has been confirmed, how long until Leilua signs on? And when he does, what role do you see him playing in the team with Gagai & Tahu around?
WB: We need quality back-up players and having him here puts a bit of pressure on those two boys. He is a player who we think has a lot of talent. He can’t play until round five so whose knows where we will be at by then.
Lisa Luck via email: Hi Wayne, I noticed Dane Gagai wasn't part of the Queensland Emerging Origin squad. Is he planning to represent New Zealand instead?
WB: No he is an Indigenous boy so Queensland is where he is going.
@tezzhardes via Twitter: What young gun/fringe player has caught your eye this pre-season?
WB: I know what they all bring. I have been with them for twelve months now so some are just a little bit older and more confident and a bit more committed.
James via email: What is the update on Travis Waddell and did you think he played well in the All Stars game? ?
WB: I didn’t think he played too bad and he is going to play with us at Coffs Harbour on the weekend.
@alicianewton91 via Twitter: Are you confident Akuila Uate will stay at club and have you been working with him on his defence? Just a confidence thing?
WB: Well it is more of a system thing the defence than a confidence thing. We will make the system work and if we do that his defence will be fine. We are keen to keep him and are working to keep him at the Knights beyond this season.
Ryan Hargraves via email: Has this whole ASS investigation been stressful for you?
WB: No, it has been an annoyance but not stressful.
Josh Hill via email: Ryan Stig has had very bad luck with injuries since the end of 2011, do you rate him & does he have a future at the Knights?
WB: Yes we do rate him because we kept him on here and gave him a contract when I arrived here. He is having a tough time at the moment and I have told him if it comes good for him I will have him back and he will be given an opportunity that he missed out on. Up until now he has not been very well.
Kelly Rogers via email: What do you most enjoy about being a coach? ??
WB: I don’t have to go to work because I get to do something I enjoy.
Luke via email: With a month to go until kick off, what do you focus on at training at this point of pre-season?
WB: We focus on getting our team parts right, which are our defence and our attack, all the things that are going to make us successful.
Amanda Grey via email: You have Pat Mata’utia in the squad this week, what has he shown over the summer to make you include him out of all the NYC players?
WB: We just think he is a future player of the Club and that is why he has been given the opportunity and why he has been training with the NRL squad. He has a little bit more going for him than some of the other boys at this stage but that doesn’t mean to say the other boys won’t catch up this year.
Taryn South via email: We are coming to see the team play in Tamworth. Will you play a team that is more likely to look like your Round 1 team?
WB: Yes in Tamworth will be the make-up of guys, the top players. It all gets serious now with less than a month until season 2013 kicks off.
Thank you for all your questions. Stay tuned for more details about next week's Knights Insider! If you have a Knights player, coach or staff member that you want to hear from for a future Knights Insider, send us your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRIALS, CLICK HERE.