“I think JD [Demetriou] has said he sees himself as a substitute teacher role at the moment, as opposed to a head coach. It has been nice to see his approach to a semi head coach role but it’s been a great learning curve for JD and everyone around him.
“It’s been pleasing to see we can be successful when he’s running the show.”
‘Individually he’s a very passionate and honest person.They’re two things he probably gets from Wayne.’
Cameron Murray on Jason Demetriou
Demetriou has instilled a more vocal approach to running Rabbitohs training but the foundations taught by Bennett were clear to see.
“He speaks up a little bit more than Wayne does but obviously he’s been a product of Wayne for the last couple of years now,” Murray said.
“A lot of his leadership style is a product of Wayne. He’s very similar in terms of leadership and stuff like that. Individually he’s a very passionate and honest person.
“They’re two things he probably gets from Wayne. He’s not too dissimilar in those departments.
“I think they’re probably two of his biggest attributes as a coach. His honesty and his passion and how much he wants to see each person in the team succeed. A very passionate, honest coaching style.”
That coaching style has placed Souths in pole position to claim one of the last few spots available in the eight, although the Rabbitohs view themselves as a top-four team.
Tom Burgess believes it’s perfect timing for a refreshed Bennett to return to the club’s bubble and steer the team into the top four, rather than scrap for seventh or eighth.
“He’s probably a bit embarrassed about the whole thing but he won’t make too much of it,” Burgess said when asked about Bennett’s impending return.
“I think he will just get on with his job. He realises he made a mistake and he will just want to get back on with things.”
Souths’ job this weekend is to end Manly’s season.
If they can stave off the Des Hasler’s side, they will have all but certainly secured a place in the top eight with a three-game gap to the chasing pack.
“Manly have been so close over the last couple of weeks. We understand they’re going to be a hungry side and we need to match it,” Cody Walker said.
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Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.