You know what? F*&^ Mal Meninga

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Mal Meninga took to the The Courier Mail this week and explained, in a baffling whinge, that he doesn’t care what Wayne Bennett thinks, and then proceeded to write 1,000 words on it, most of which he read from when interviewed by the BBC on Saturday.

You can read the full whiny rant here, but here’s two sets of highlights:

All about Wayne:

“Wayne’s year-long, persistent and ongoing objection to my appointment as Kangaroos coach and his obvious frustration at being overlooked for the job, seem to have been born out of his own lack of understanding about what the role actually entails.”

That’s the only possible explanation – not the $550,000 a year price difference for five games a year, and the fact that Australia are no longer the world’s number one team, and might deserve a top coach.

“My beef with Wayne is not that he wanted the Australian job. I have no problem with ambition.  What disappoints me is that, as a grown man and a professional, he should be able to accept the decision once it has been made.”

And as a grown man and professional, I’d like to whinge about it to my local newspaper, and to wind my players up about it.

“When Wayne says he doesn’t want my job, or that we are friends who will embrace after a game, it is just not true.  I’m a man of my own convictions. I’m not looking for approval from Wayne, nor am I trying to impress him. He’s not my mentor. I don’t care what he thinks about the job that I do or the results I achieve.”

I don’t care what he thinks about me as a coach…….

“I don’t think he rates me as a coach, but that’s OK.  I think Wayne believes I have done a good job with the results I have achieved, but because I don’t coach every weekend I am not what he considers a ‘genuine’ rugby league coach.”

Wait – I DO care what he think about me as a coach, because I’ve laid awake thinking about it, and have decided for myself!  Mal, no-one considers what you do as rugby league coaching.  What you do is called administrating.

“I have a different view to Wayne about what is required from a coach at representative level, and it is a view that the Queensland Rugby League and Australian Rugby League now share.”

Having the QRL/ARL/NRL with the same opinion as you on a topic should not, in any way, shape or form, ever, be considered a ringing endorsement.

“Wayne was obviously an important part of my life when I was a young man but when Wayne walked out the door at the Raiders in 1987 to coach the Broncos, our relationship ended. We went our own ways and haven’t had any sort of relationship for many years.  I know there is a perception that he and I are friends and I guess that is a part of the reason for doing this column — to set the record straight.  We’re not enemies, but we’re not friends either. There’s no bad blood — there’s just no blood at all. There is no relationship there.”

We have no relationship, so its very important to me that I get that in print, about this guy that I do not care about.

Seriously, what sort of batshittery possessed him to make him write something that bitchy and ludicrous?  Gracious in victory, as always, Mal.

His current job, and why he’s the man for it:

“Yes, coaching the Kangaroos in rugby league matches — like the Four Nations opener against Scotland — is a big part of my job.  But it is only a part of my job, not the only part.  The vast majority of my role is spent working on the game itself, not on the team.”

Oh please, tell us more about how you’re going to work on the game itself and your tan.

“My time is divided between the Kangaroos, Jillaroos, Junior Kangaroos and Australian Schoolboys teams, as well as re-establishing the standards and culture around playing for your country that had been allowed to erode over time.”

You don’t coach the Jillaroos, Juniors Kangaroos or Australian Schoolboys.  What standards and culture around playing for your country have eroded exactly, aside of it previously being coached by another full-time ambassador/narcoleptic?  Or do you mean your famously vague “No Dickheads” policy?

Would it be ordering 100 pizzas and cans of Coke for the post game feed?


Or having the players sweep out the shed while you read the program?

“My role also involves laying the foundations and pathways for players who aspire to play for Australia, creating strategies and structures to return international football’s credibility and relevance, lifting the profile of international league and contributing to the commercial aspects of all those elements.”

You will play no part in achieving any of those things as Kangaroos coach.  International rugby league has no credibility or relevance, and will not in your lifetime.  We have 16 full-time professional clubs who lay the foundations and pathways for players who aspire to play for Australia.  That’s where these players spend 40 weeks of the year.  The Kangaroos do not develop any players – the clubs do.  The part of the job you just listed is a complete fabrication.

Also, no-one gives two shits about you standing in front of a Holden, so cut the shit about the “commercial aspects” of all those elements.  The NRL TV is the number one product.  Second is State of Origin.  There’s a billion bucks.  In third place is nothing.  5,000 people watching Australia play in Hull should be proof of the commercial appeal of international rugby league.

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These are all critical and time-consuming tasks. Would I be able to do all of those things and coach an NRL club at the same time?

They are certainly in no way time-consuming.  They are absolutely not critical.  In fact, they are fluff and gibberish.  You could be on the moon and do them.  But – and I guess this is his point – you wouldn’t get paid $600,000 a year.

No, and nor would Wayne or any other coach in the NRL.  It is a job well beyond formulating a game plan and running training sessions.

Which would be defined as “coaching”.

Mal has fashioned up some ludicrous role in his head that administrators come up with from time to time – that “coaching” a team is a full time year round ambassadorial role.  In Australia, they’ve roped Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters into it to, which as far as I can see involves coaching three games, holding a camp for 18 year olds in February, and appearing on Fox Sports each Monday musing about which players they’re “considering” (it’s always Robbie Farah).    Bizarrely, the ARL/NRL has gone along with it.   For some reason, Mal can’t behave like he won the lottery getting away with this for a decade with Queensland and Australia, and has extreme butthurt that Wayne Bennett has the balls to tell the idiots who decided its a good idea that it is, in fact, a ludicrous waste of money.

What a boob.  A hilariously oblivious man who wouldn’t notice his house is on fire until it collapsed on him.

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Author: Max Smith

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