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Renouf: My heart goes out to Seibold, Lockyer over Broncos' sad state

I take the recent performances of the Brisbane Broncos personally. It really hurts to see the club in the sad state it is in, and I am not the only former player to feel that way.

This week Broncos dual-premiership winner Shaun Berrigan, who was the Clive Churchill Medal winner in the 2006 grand final win, put up an Instagram post with an action shot of him  playing.

He said: "This jersey meant the world to me. Passion, pride, never giving up for your mates. Most importantly showing respect to the players before me that made this great club what they are."

I responded to him  with "well said legend, love you Bra", and he replied “love you more…breaks my heart”.

Shaun was a great player and is a great character. He’s a solid lad too. The plight of the Broncos is breaking his heart.

Shaun Berrigan in action for Brisbane in 2006.
Shaun Berrigan in action for Brisbane in 2006. ©NRL Photos

I listened closely to Darren Lockyer speak this week about how he was having sleepless nights due to worry about the state of the club.

That didn’t surprise me because I know how much the club means to Locky. We had some great times together on and off the field for Brisbane.

I started my career at the Broncos as a 17-year-old and left when I was 29.  I had a great time. Locky was around the same age when he arrived at the club and played for a lot longer.

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You grow up there and the Broncos become part of you. The club becomes a part of your DNA.

Wayne Bennett was good at setting that sensibility up with his players. He would say it didn’t matter whether you were at the club or out in public, and he even said it to me after I retired, that “you are Steve Renouf … Brisbane Bronco”. It was like you were carrying a mantle.

Locky is the same. He is a Brisbane Bronco and we are all very proud of the record we had.

When I look at what is going on now it doesn’t look like the players are there for the jersey.

When I go out in public and am often asked what is wrong with the club I say, “you watch what I do. Please tell me.”

I have expressed my ideas about how to fix certain things but what I say often falls on deaf ears.

Lockyer has a lot of responsibility at the club now as a board member and in recruitment. Recently I created a bit of a stir when I said publicly that he was "a big part of the problem" at the club.

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I intend to reach out to him about that, but I think he would understand that if I was a part of the club’s leadership I would have to cop criticism too.

He holds a power role just as being Darren Lockyer, and so he should. I don’t know how much input he is having or whether he is being listened to, but when you are on a board you are responsible for success or failure.

I said Locky was "a big part" of the problem but I should have just said "a part" of it.  I was quite emotional about the team’s plight at the time.

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After last Friday's 48-0 loss to Wests Tigers I sent a text to coach Anthony Seibold. I told him that I love the club and I really feel for him. He got back to me and thanked me. It is a tough time for the coach.

I get the feeling he is soon about to wear the full brunt of Brisbane’s poor form but that responsibility should be shared by the CEO, the board and the players.

The senior players at the Broncos need to stand up and in particular Darius Boyd.

I know Darius says he doesn’t pay attention to what is said externally about him or the club, but he needs to realise that we watch what he does.

Did Seibold pull the right rein with fullback switch?

He is under the microscope as one of the senior players at the Broncos and we are waiting for some kind of reaction.

At the moment there is nothing happening. He is an ex-captain and has played Origin and Test football. He needs to be the one leading the way with his talk and actions.

Anthony Milford has never been a big talker. His footy on the field has done his talking in the past, but that is not happening either at the moment.

The players look lost and like they don’t know what to do. When I look at their faces I see a lot of kids, so it is the senior players who need to lead the way, give them a pat on the back and inspire.

It was noted last year that when things go wrong for the Broncos that no one talks on the field, and nothing has changed.

Against Melbourne on Friday night all I urge the Broncos is to have a real crack and to do the jersey proud. I am really hoping for and expecting a bounce back.

 

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