HE'S a prickly customer with plenty of premierships to his name and NRL master coach Wayne Bennett was up to his old tricks at Brightwater Hotel yesterday.
After finding his way to The Lakehouse function room, Bennett dodged local media who had gathered, waiting for a few words from the great man himself.
Reporters who thought luck would improve after heading inside were again disappointed, with Bennett asking for TV cameras to leave the function, before settling in for an afternoon of insights for the packed crowd at what was the Sunshine Coast Falcons' premier fundraiser.
But not to fear, the inimitable mentor soon warmed up, as the banter started flowing between MC Tony Durkin and Bennett, whose laconic, deadpan one-liners drew plenty of applause from an appreciative crowd.
A swift "no" when asked whether he would accept a knighthood elicited plenty of cheers, while there were even more laughs as Bennett revealed his ideal Origin evening.
"I'll be where I'm happiest, at home with my family (watching the game)," the super coach said.
"I don't need a glass of red or anything to enjoy the State of Origin, I'll be at home with my pyjamas on and I'll enjoy it."
There were gems of advice in amongst the footy tales too.
Speaking of how he handled his move away from the Broncos, Bennett said the ability to focus on his future rather than dwell on the past had put him in good stead.
"Just make a decision and move on," was his advice.
Bennett also touched on the challenges of modern-day coaching, as he regaled the Maroon-heavy crowd.
Courtesy of Scott Sawyer of Sunshine Coast Daily