Ex-coach Anthony Griffin may have provided the building blocks but Broncos boss Paul White says their stunning 2015 NRL title tilt was all Wayne Bennett.
White wished Griffin the best after the Broncos’ 2011-14 mentor was officially unveiled as Panthers coach on Wednesday on a three-year deal.
However, he baulked when asked about Griffin’s influence on Brisbane’s unlikely grand final charge this year.
After making way for Bennett this year, Griffin’s fingerprints were still evident at Brisbane after he groomed the bulk of the senior squad since his Broncos under 20s days, namely star halfback Ben Hunt.
Key additions Anthony Milford and Adam Blair helped Bennett in his first year back guide Brisbane to the 2015 NRL grand final, losing 17-16 to North Queensland in golden point.
“Anthony put in some good building blocks but I don’t want to understate the job Wayne Bennett did in his first year here – it was unbelievable,” White said.
“He was named coach of the year and deservedly so.”
White said Bennett’s “remarkable” return year at Brisbane had surprised even him.
“We acknowledge the work Hook (Griffin) did in terms of bringing that squad together but Wayne delivered us within a few seconds of a premiership,” he said.
“I am sure you didn’t have us down for top four let alone to be there when the whips are cracking in the final minutes of a grand final.
“What Wayne did was remarkable and a sign of what he can do in another 12 months with these guys.
“I couldn’t be more confident in the coach and what he can do for us on the back of this year.”