Broncos coach Anthony Seibold plans to inject James Roberts off the bench in the second half against the Canberra Raiders on Sunday where his attacking strike looms as a potential match-winner.
Roberts has not played since the round three loss to St George Illawarra due to an Achilles complaint. He also played just a few minutes against Melbourne in round one due to a back spasm.
If the game is in the balance in the national capital Seibold will have an ace up his sleeve with a simple mission to turn the after-burners on and live up to his nickname of ‘Jimmy the Jet’.
"Jimmy will be playing. He will be on the bench so we will make a tactical change at some stage during the game," Seibold said on Saturday before the side’s captain’s run.
"He’s shown the last two training sessions that his Achilles is a lot better so I just think it is best to start him off the bench because Kotoni [Staggs] has done a good job the last two games.
"Obviously Jimmy would love to start but he hasn’t played many minutes in the first few rounds and has been out for a couple of weeks, so it is almost the mentality they talk about in rugby union where they have starters and finishers.
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“I just think for this weekend it is best to finish with Jimmy. His speed and power off the bench at some stage in the second half can be a weapon for us.”
Seibold has often carried an outside back on the bench and said Roberts would get “plenty of time” in the match.
Seibold fielded questions about how he was handling the pressure of having won just one game after five rounds. It emerged that the Brisbane mentor has turned to those he trusts for advice and reassurance and is not getting bogged down in digesting all the flak that has come the Broncos way in recent weeks.
"I try not to listen to outside opinions and I seek counsel from people I trust," he said.
"There are one or two people who are experienced in rugby league or outside our sport who I chat to. Every coach goes through challenging times. It is definitely really important to have a mentor in any leadership role in life."
One of Seibold’s sounding boards has been England rugby union Eddie Jones who has been through his ups and downs as Wallabies coach and in clubland previously.
"I am in constant communication with Eddie," Seibold said.
"He had a similar start to his Japanese club coaching career a few years ago so he is one that I talk to."
Seibold is big on involving legendary figures from other sports with his teams and the Broncos welcomed French rugby union legend Frederic Michalak at training on Friday as a boost ahead of the must-win clash with Canberra.
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“He loves rugby league and went to the Roosters last week before coming to us to observe training. He is working in a general manager type role in Lyon and he really enjoyed the day," Seibold said.
Seibold also sat in the Collingwood coaching box with Magpies AFL coach Nathan Buckley on Thursday night for their clash with the Brisbane Lions and spent a day with the club as part of his professional development.
He said the Broncos were determined to perform against the Raiders in what looms as a “crucial” away trip.
"It has been a challenging start," Seibold said.
“Two of the last three games we have lost literally with the last play of the game. That really hurts and that’s challenging but from a coaching staff’s perspective we need to bounce into work, which we have done and worked really hard.
"It is a crucial game but we just need to continually get better. We showed some good signs last week against the Tigers."