Broncos' hopes for Waite likely to be in vain

Dave Hadfield considers the lacklustre Londoners' search for a new coach
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The Independent Online

London Broncos begin yet another transitional phase at Castleford today, having dispensed with their fourth coach in two years to leave the club's future clouded in uncertainty.

London Broncos begin yet another transitional phase at Castleford today, having dispensed with their fourth coach in two years to leave the club's future clouded in uncertainty.

John Monie, the most experienced and proven commodity the club, in their various guises, had ever appointed, was sacked last week, three games from the end of his first season in charge. In terms of pure results, it is a decision with which it is hard to argue. London have won just five games this season and, were it not for the perennial sick man of Super League at Huddersfield, they would be facing the indignity of the wooden spoon.

It would surely have done little harm, however, to let Monie bow out at the end of the season, something he would probably have been happy enough to do once he accepted that it simply had not worked for him at the Broncos.

His demise will add ammunition to those who claim that Monie was only a great coach at Wigan because he had so many great players. That was always a specious argument; every coach depends on the calibre of player available to him, but few have ever got the best out of them more consistently than Monie in his first four-year spell at Central Park.

The Broncos squad have generally worked hard enough in defence, but with Karle Hammond's eyes on a move back north and no other obvious leader, they have lacked both direction on the field and the inspiration that turns narrow defeats - of which there have been many - into victories.

The Broncos were in a hurry to get rid of Monie, but say they are in no hurry to appoint his successor. First to throw their hats in the ring were the former London players Shaun Edwards and Peter Gill, who see themselves as a supporters' "dream ticket".

Theirs are names associated with recent, better times for the club, but the reaction of Tony Rea, the chief executive who has put himself in temporary charge, could be bestdescribed as lukewarm.

Another who has put his name forward is the New Zealander Mark Graham, a team-mate of Rea's at North Sydney. The two are good friends, but Graham's tenure at the Auckland Warriors has hardly been a roaring success.

One name Rea does not expect to figure in the directors' deliberations is that of David Waite. The Australian, recently appointed as the Rugby League's international coaching consultant, is back in Sydney to watch the Olympics. His contract with the League could conclude as early as the end of November, but Rea does not expect it to, much as he would like to have Waite apply for the job.

"I actually think that would be a bad thing for the game, because he is a sensational appointment in the role he's in," Rea said. "If he was available we would be keenly interested, but I'm trying to be realistic."

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