Advice from Wayne Bennett helped Cronulla veteran Michael Ennis make the shock decision to retire at the end of the NRL season.
Now the Brisbane master coach has another tip – a loss might be good for Ennis’ all conquering Cronulla before the NRL finals.
Sharks hooker Ennis on Tuesday made the surprise call that he would knock back a one-year extension and his 14th NRL season would be his last.
But Bennett confirmed on Wednesday that former Bronco Ennis rang him to bounce around the idea of hanging up the boots.
“I spoke to Michael. I remained friends with him – he was one of the best players I ever coached,” he said of Ennis, who played at the Broncos from 2006-08.
Asked if he had helped Ennis make up his mind to retire, Bennett said: “They (veteran players) know what they are feeling in their body and what is going on in their head.
“Sometimes they just need another opinion (to make a final decision).”
Bennett also had some free advice for Cronulla who are on a 15-game winning run.
The seven-time premiership winner knows a thing or two about what it takes to claim a trophy.
And he subscribed to the theory that a loss before the finals may not hurt the Sharks.
Cronulla hope to extend their club record streak at the Gold Coast on Monday night.
“You never need a loss, but sometimes a loss doesn’t hurt you,” Bennett said.
“It’s a remarkable effort to win 15 in a row.
“To win two or three in a row you are doing alright – it’s a credit to them.
“You would rather keep going but a loss shouldn’t damage them.”
Bennett said Cronulla would remain a title threat with Ennis in their side.
“He always had a great love of the game and gives his best every week,” he said.
“He’s a great lesson for those guys in the NRL who don’t give their best every week.
“Sometimes he is too paranoid about winning, he puts too much pressure on himself.
“But he has been a wonderful player and outstanding person.”