Club Series has shown NRL-Super League quality gap, says Bennett


Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett believes the first two matches of the World Club Series have highlighted a gap in quality between NRL and Super League.

The Broncos put on a brilliant display to beat Wigan Warriors 42-12 at the DW Stadium on Saturday, a day after Sydney Roosters steamrollered St Helens 38-12.

Only Leeds Rhinos can prevent another whitewash after NRL sides completed a clean-sweep in the inaugural Club Series 12 months ago, but few are expecting Brian McDermott's out-of-sorts side to beat NRL champions North Queensland Cowboys.

Bennett, who was named as the new England head coach this month, says Saints and Wigan battled hard but came up short in terms of quality.

"I thought last night [Friday] St Helens tried extremely hard, so did Wigan," he said. 

"I thought they [Saints] didn't have the quality players the Roosters have, maybe that was the case here with Wigan as well because we have some quality players and there's a bit of a gap there I think. 

"I think the effort is there and they all tried hard, they've clearly been coached well and got some good mannerisms about them."

Bennett admits the manner of the victory was easier than he anticipated and was particularly impressed with Anthony Milford's kicking game - the full-back did not end up on the scoresheet but was influential throughout.

"I'm happy with the performance, it was good. Probably a bit easier than I thought," he added. 

"I was happy with our intent and how we played the game. I expected a tough game and it certainly was tough in different stages, the score got away a little bit and took the pressure off.

"There were a couple of crucial moments and I just liked the way we applied the pressure and kept building it until we made the breakthrough."

On Milford, he added: "Well we spent a lot of time with him [Milford] on that [kicking]. 

"He's worked hard I have to say, he was really good with it."