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The Brisbane Broncos.

If Wayne Bennett was coaching the 2019 Brisbane Broncos I am convinced he would take them to the grand final.

I had conversations with Wayne before he was told to leave the Broncos and in one of those chats he told me that he really believed he could take this team to the decider this year.

At the time I had just said to him "you can really do something special with this team next year", and he was convinced of it as well. That is why he wanted to stay on for this season and honour his contract.

The Broncos hierarchy made a big mistake losing him because Wayne had spent a couple of years building a rapport with the young boys in the team.

He was the one that gave guys like David Fifita, Payne Haas, Jamayne Isaako and Jaydn Su'A a go last year, and they all prospered. He had their respect, but Wayne had the belief that he could also take them to the next level.

I had the same view of it, and I am not the only former Bronco to feel that way.

I was disappointed when the Broncos crashed out in week one of the finals last year but they only finished two points behind the minor premiers. The young players in particular were going forward under Wayne.

Sea Eagles v Broncos - Round 9

I was vocal about Wayne being able to leave on his terms at the end of 2020 and that Kevin Walters should have been the man to take the club forward from there.

That is all too late to change now, and I know Anthony Seibold can coach. He proved that at Souths last year, but he just has to work harder and sort out the mess they are in.

I know they keep saying "give it time and it will all fall into place", but that place is a long way off.

I have just been up to Townsville and even people up there were pulling me aside and asking "what is happening at the Broncos?" It is hard to answer them because I am baffled by some of the decisions going on at the moment.

Dropping Jamayne Isaako and James Roberts is not the answer. I don't see why you would drop a winger and a centre when we have consistently been opened up like a can of sardines in the middle.

Jimmy Roberts can be a match-winner, but he can only be a match-winner in a team that is going forward and gives him decent ball. Have we seen that happen this year? No.

We have had one really good game from Anthony Milford and that was against an injury-ravaged Sharks. From the start of the season I thought Kodi Nikorima was playing the better of the two.

Nikorima was getting hammered in the media and was told he was not the long-term half by the coach, and yet Milford is Teflon.

Seibold stands firm on Roberts, reveals good news about McCullough

Maybe Milford needs a bit of a shake-up, like Ben Hunt did when Wayne Bennett sent him back to the Ipswich Jets. That one game at Ipswich revived Benny's love of the game and he didn't kick stones about it either. He bounced back and was better for it.

I don't think this was the time to be letting Kodi go. We did have two halves who are similar players. Neither of them are natural organisers. The lesser of the two contract-wise was Kodi, because we all know Milford is the highest paid player at the club.

There was a lot of build-up to Kodi leaving and he has obviously decided that he's had enough and that he's going to get looked after better financially at the Warriors.

Should Broncos fans be patient with Anthony Seibold?

Darius Boyd is not getting any younger but he has put his hand up to be captain and is still expected to play the footy we all know he is capable of. Darius needs to step up. He has said that he can be better, but he has also said that overall he is going well.

The players seem to have a planned approach when they talk to the media. They could have had the worst game possible but all they will talk about is the miniscule things they have done well. They have obviously been directed to do that, because they are all doing it. No-one is saying that they need to pick up their performance and being hard on themselves.

I hope things turn around at the Broncos, but I just have to roll my eyes when people mention this team's situation and compare it to 1999. In 1999 we won 11 in a row after being one win from 10, but they are two different teams.

The 1999 side won the title the year before. It was just a weird scenario that had happened for us, and we couldn't figure out what was going wrong. Maybe this team is in a similar boat, but that is the only similarity.

If the Broncos don't make the top eight it will be a complete failure in everyone's eyes, Seibold's included. He will be shattered.

It is a simple game and the players just need to go out there and play for the bloke beside them. It is just a mentality. We were always told we were in the Broncos team because we could play footy… so play footy and play for the bloke beside you. It is simple.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of, the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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