WINNERS: Bluff will have a difficult time topping last year’s heroics. INSET: Paul Byrne will be out to make the premiers even harder to beat in 2016, bringing an uncompromising and tough attitude to the coaching.
WINNERS: Bluff will have a difficult time topping last year’s heroics. INSET: Paul Byrne will be out to make the premiers even harder to beat in 2016, bringing an uncompromising and tough attitude to the coaching. Matty Holdsworth

Bluff’s new man at the helm

THERE is a saying in rugby league: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Premiers the Bluff Rabbitohs may have gone against this famous saying by ushering in a new coach, but they firmly believe they have made the right move.

Any fears of complacency for the Rabbitohs have been squashed by incoming coach Paul Byrne, who predicted his side would go back-to-back.

Bluff, who last year broke a 25-year premiership drought, welcome in a 30-year servant of the game and a local to the region.

Byrne said it was a challenge to "stop the complacency and keep the confidence on board", but that it was a challenge he knew he was up for.

"Rugby league is a game of confidence - if you keep their confidence up, they will play good football. That's what it's all about," Byrne said.

"It is a challenge for me so I have to make them play positive footy and keep them switched on and enjoying it.

"That way I will get 100% out of them.

"Look at the way they played in the grand final - confidence was high that day.

"We have to train hard, work hard and play for each other - that's how to avoid complacency.

"This year we will finish on top."

"I coached in Blackwater a while back and a lot of the blokes playing for Bluff now were there as nine or 10-year-olds," the Dingo resident said.

"So I have a great relationship with them now. My two boys Billy and Benny play for Bluff now, so I jumped on board.

"Jason O'Donoghue (assistant coach) will be good for us this year. He is a hard worker with plenty of knowledge of the game and the club."

Byrne said he was a defence-first type coach and said honesty with his troops was key to his role.

"Defence is definitely most important to me. Being strong as a team from your goal line to all over the field is very important," he said.

"I like to see my sides play positive footy.

"I am fairly honest with the boys and ask a lot of them in training.

"But the boys find their own way and then I just have to steer them.

"It's not my job to stand over them and 'you will do this and you will do that' - I find the best way is to let them find their own feet and steer them round from there."


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