Wayne Bennett always knew his coaching rival in the NRL grand final, Paul Green, was going to make a fist of the clipboard caper.
Green served an apprenticeship under Bennett at Brisbane before transferring his talents to the Queensland Cup, in which he won back-to-back titles with Wynnum Manly.
The North Queensland mentor then joined Sydney Roosters successful title push in 2013 under head coach Trent Robinson before being snapped up by the Cowboys last year.
The faith North Queensland powerbrokers placed in Green, after getting rid of Neil Henry, has been repaid. The former Queensland State of Origin halfback has taken the Cowboys to their second grand final in his second year in charge.
Supercoach Bennett, for one, isn’t surprised.
“I was always confident he was going to be a good coach,” Bennett said of Green.
“I probably held him back a little there for a while when the 20s started because he was in line to be that coach, but I just thought he needed to do a bit more work in the development area, which really challenges you about how to coach.
“Paul was a good teacher, then he went to Wynnum and did a great job there, it is not easy to win two competitions in a row. He did his apprenticeship really well and it has put him in the good place where he is now.”
Green will take some of the coaching principles he learned from Bennett into the NRL decider at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
“The big thing (I learnt) is to keep it simple, what works for you through the year is going to work for you on the big day,” Green said.
“That is probably the main thing.”
Green also said he would take plenty from his time with the Roosters.
“Going through that experience helped me greatly personally, just seeing how Trent handled things that year and for me to be close to that certainly was a good experience for me,” he said.