Anthony Seibold blames Wayne Bennett for family toll during Brisbane-South Sydney NRL coaching saga
Anthony Seibold (right) is upset about Wayne Bennett’s decision to stay put at the Broncos. (AAP: Dave Hunt, Joel Carrett)
South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold has “had a gutful” of Brisbane counterpart Wayne Bennett following his decision to stay with the Broncos, saying it has had an unnecessary impact on his children.
- Anthony Seibold expected Wayne Bennett to step down as Broncos coach a year early
- Seibold was set to be unveiled as the Broncos coach for the 2019 season last Friday
- Bennett says he is “happy” with how he has handled the coaching situation
Seibold and Bennett were set to swap coaching positions at the Broncos and Rabbitohs in the 2020 NRL season but speculation was rife on Friday the arrangement would be brought forward a year early.
Bennett, however, dug in his heels, declaring at a media conference in Brisbane two days ago he would see out his contract with the Broncos in 2019.
His announcement arrived just hours before the Broncos were believed to have organised a media conference to welcome Seibold as their coach for next season.
Seibold said he was told the coaching change would be happening immediately and he has been unable to hide his anger following a month of uncertainty.
“I have had a gutful. I’ve been sitting here for four weeks and feeling like a punching bag. It’s not acceptable and it’s not fair,” Seibold told News Corp.
Wayne Bennett intends to see out his contract with the Broncos in 2019. (AAP: Dave Hunt, file)
Seibold accused Bennett of “playing games”, saying the ongoing drama had created frustration for his family, especially his children.
“I told my wife and three daughters we’re leaving,” he said.
We’ve told the kids twice we’re moving and then twice that we’re staying. They’ve been in tears.
“We’re trying to sort out their schools. It’s really taking its toll on them.”
Bennett, who has won six premierships with the Broncos, has previously denied any contact with Rabbitohs players since it was announced in October he would be heading to Redfern.
But Seibold, the reigning NRL coach of the year, said Bennett had rung Damien Cook, Alex Johnston and Sam Burgess about his plans for the Rabbitohs before Friday’s bombshell.
“Then tells his press conference he hasn’t spoken to anyone,” he said.
“That’s absolute bullshit.”
Seibold labels coaching uncertainity ‘a joke’
Seibold was determined not to speak publicly about the coaching saga, but Bennett’s announcement on Friday was the final straw.
“I’m sick of Wayne carrying on. I’ve bit my tongue and said nothing until now,” he said.
“I just want clarity and so do the players. I feel for the players at both clubs. It’s a joke.”
Anthony Seibold is convinced Wayne Bennett has already spoken with South Sydney players. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts, file photo)
Bennett appears to have no qualms about his decision to stay with the Broncos next season, although he acknowledged it was still possible he could be sacked by the club.
“I have been responsible. I am here today handling this situation. I have done my part,” Bennett said on Friday.
“I am happy with what I have done.”
Bennett has coached the Broncos for 25 seasons across two stints.
The Rabbitohs would be the fifth NRL club he has coached, as he has also been in charge of Canberra, St George Illawarra and Newcastle during his decorated career.