Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett is calling on the NRL to release a schedule for the opening week of the finals earlier to help teams prepare adequately.
Bennett says he’s unsure if his team will draw any benefit from wrapping up their regular season on Thursday night with a 24-14 win over the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium.
Victory over the Roosters lifts the Broncos into fourth spot on the ladder for now but with fifth-placed North Queensland playing on Saturday against Gold Coast, Bennett won’t have a realistic idea of where or when his team will play their finals opener until the end of the weekend.
The seven-time premiership coach says the NRL need to publish a schedule for the opening week of the finals much earlier than they do currently.
“We don’t know what we’re doing to be honest with you, it’s a bit weird, I think we should know,” Bennett said.
“We should know what fifth and eighth are doing. We don’t know what days we’re training … not earlier in the season, but I’d like to know it now.
“Whoever they are, five and eight will play here on a Sunday or Saturday or whatever. I think we deserve that.
“If we don’t know by Sunday if we should be back training by Sunday then we’ve missed a huge advantage.”
If the Cowboys can’t defeat the eighth-placed Titans and sixth-placed Canterbury fail to make up a 44-deficit in their points differential to the Broncos against South Sydney, Brisbane will earn a finals second chance with a top-four finish.
Bennett though isn’t so bothered with that scenario.
“I’ve never regarded it as a life and death,” he said.
“We’ve won premierships here from finishing outside the four. The important part’s to be playing well.”