The Brisbane Broncos are like a fine watch that is out of sync and needs to go back to the watchmaker for tuning.
The only problem is the watchmaker has gone to South Sydney.
I’ve never been coached by Anthony Seibold but it is clear he has a completely different approach to coaching to Wayne Bennett. The players have all said as much.
Seibold obviously did something right at the Rabbitohs last year. He got them firing again and was Dally M coach of the year.
The question I have is this: Is the way the Broncos played under Wayne Bennett so much different to the way Anthony coaches that there has been such a seismic shift that the players are struggling with it?
I watch them play and I reckon the answer is ‘yes’. It looks like they can’t get their head around Anthony’s game model. They just look lost at times. It is like the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.
Raiders v Broncos - Round 6
That came to the fore in that set of six last week against the Wests Tigers when no one seemed to know who was meant to take a field goal or how to get into position for one.
After watching that unfold the other question is: Who is calling the shots? I noted the coach said in his press conference after the game Anthony Milford was the one who had that responsibility and should have been listened to.
I have been in enough of those situations where decisions had to be made on the run in pressure situations, but at least we went through with it whether it got a positive result or not. Allan Langer and Darren Lockyer were the masters at doing that, and getting it right.
You’ve got to have the character to stick to what you believe in and go through with it.
Whether the players have found it hard to adjust to a new coach or not, they need to do it quickly.
Everyone is coming for Seibold right now and he has fired back when it comes to the culture at the Broncos. He’s defended that and made the point that all the players are working their backsides off to get things right. Former players have been critical of the club and the reason is because they love the place at heart and want to see the Broncos do well.
I am in the same boat. That scrutiny is always going to come when you are a coach of the Brisbane Broncos and the team is not performing. Wayne has been through it himself, and now Anthony is in the hot seat.
He had a crack at social media trolls the other night and that is fair enough if people are targeting the players in a nasty way, but having a view about the team and expressing it in the media does not make you a troll.
This is a young Broncos side but definitely capable of playing finals football and doing well deep into September.
The advice Wayne Bennett gave GI in retirement
I have tipped Brisbane to win on Sunday against Canberra and I hope they do. It is a tough ask, but they have no option really. I really think the team should have three wins by the end of round eight. That will be a third of the way through the season and you’ve got to have six competition points by then.
The next two games against the Raiders, and then Sharks at home, are crucial before that much-anticipated away trip against South Sydney.
Despite the loss to the Wests Tigers there were several really positive signs last week and it was two 19-year-olds, Payne Haas and David Fifita, who really stood up.
Haas was a machine throughout and Fifita showed a couple of sublime touches with his passes and even with a grubber for himself where he nearly scored
Seibold has shown faith in his young forwards and I reckon that is great. Potentially, it is the best pack in the Telstra Premiership.
Haas and Fifita need to back up last week’s performance against Canberra. We can’t have a repeat of the game against the Cowboys where the forwards played the house down and then fell apart the next against the Roosters.
They are tough, skilful and good kids. Getting their heads right each week is the big challenge for Seibold. They have to get out there and stick to the game plan Anthony has given them. They are not that far off the mark.
There are plenty of stars in the Broncos side. Milford, James Roberts, Kodi Nikorima, Jack Bird, Corey Oates, Matt Gillett and Darius Boyd. They have all played Test or Origin footy.
This Sunday, where they will be underdogs, is a great opportunity for them to get their season on track.