Bennett promises to make Su’A a star
Souths Sydney coach Wayne Bennett says Brisbane reject Jaydn Su'A will become an NRL star and has pledged to fix the Queensland Origin hopeful after his fall from grace at the Broncos.
Su'A was tipped to be a contender for a Queensland Origin debut this season but instead the 21-year-old found himself languishing in the Intrust Super Cup after being a casualty of Brisbane's early-season form slump.
His confidence shattered, Su'A received a mid-season lifeline from Bennett, his former Broncos coach, and he plays his third game off the bench for the Rabbitohs against the Dragons on Friday night at ANZ Stadium.
Bennett accepts Su'A has work to do to become a regular starter in a star-studded South Sydney side, but 40 years of coaching experience tells him the Broncos discard will succeed in the NRL.
"Jaydn will have a long career in the NRL. His talent isn't a question. He will make it," Bennett said.
"A player's confidence does get dented when things happen to them beyond their control.
"Uncertainty doesn't do anything for someone's confidence.
"But now Jaydn is in a stable place, he knows his value with me. His attitude has been great since he came here. He is happy and has stability in his life and he knows what his role will be under me at South Sydney."
One brutal moment in the Rabbitohs' 30-18 defeat of the Cowboys last Saturday night demonstrated Su'A's value at Redfern.
Cowboys halfback Jake Clifford went to the line when Su'A rattled him as he passed the ball. Clifford hit the deck, clearly feeling the pain of a legitimate tackle that illustrated Su'A's ferocious technique.
Bennett has coached some of rugby league's most ruthless defenders and places the Samoan international in a special category.
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"He is one of the best hitters I've seen," the veteran coach said.
"Jaydn is very clean in his technique. All the great defenders like Peter Ryan, Trevor Gillmeister and Tonie Carroll (former Broncos trio) had that great timing and Jaydn has that timing.
"His shot on the Cowboys halfback the other night really hurt him and that was legitimate.
"You can't coach what Jaydn has got, he has that instinct to do that and hurt someone legally in defence.
"What you do know as a coach is that an opponent will be looking over his shoulder for the next 20 minutes hoping someone like Su'a doesn't come at him again.
"He only has to do that once a game, but most importantly the other 15 teams in the competition see it as well.
"Every player will suddenly be wary when Jaydn Su'A is around.
"Jaydn also has a lot of improvement with the ball. I'm not pushing too much on him too early, but going forward he will be quite handy with the ball in his hands."