Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold emphasises the positives after taking over from Wayne Bennett
New Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold and skipper Darius Boyd will be the leadership combination at the Broncos. (AAP: Dan Peled)
‘They’ve been in tears’: Souths coach blames Wayne Bennett for family toll during coaching saga
New Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has refused to continue his criticism of predecessor Wayne Bennett, declaring it was time to move on as he began his tenure at Red Hill.
Seibold had his first day in charge at the Broncos after Bennett’s dramatic sacking by the club on Sunday.
- Former South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold has taken over at the Brisbane Broncos, replacing Wayne Bennett
- Seibold was scheduled to swap jobs with Bennett in 2020, but Bennett was sacked by Brisbane on Sunday
- Seibold had spoken out, blaming Bennett for a month of uncertainty, but has told reporters it is now time to move on
“It has been a bit of a circus,” Seibold said.
“I’ve handled some things well and some other things not so well. It’s time to move on and move forward. I can’t wait to start coaching the guys from this afternoon.”
For Seibold, the new role marks a return to the Broncos, where he played under Bennett from 1992 to 1995.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve drawn a line in the sand,” he continued.
“I want positivity for the club and the playing group here going forward, I want positivity for the group at Souths.”
Despite repeated questioning about Bennett and the growing bitterness that has characterised the off-season drama, Seibold was gracious regarding the former Broncos coach.
“It’s not about comparisons with Wayne,” he said. “Wayne’s legacy as a head coach is probably second to none.
“I’ll do things my way, it [coaching] is something I’m passionate about.”
Seibold was not expecting anything to happen yesterday when the news broke.
“I was at the movies watching The Grinch with the kids when the call came through,” he said.
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd appeared with Seibold, confirming he would be staying at Brisbane in a leadership role, despite the fact that he has never been coached in the NRL by anyone other than Bennett.
Boyd said it was sad the way Bennett’s time at the Broncos had ended, but added that he understood why it had happened.
“It’s disappointing, but I know it [rugby league] is a business,” Boyd said.
“I had that [publicity] when I left Brisbane at the age of 21.”
The captain said it was important for the playing group to have certainty, and he was looking forward to getting on with the preseason under Seibold.
Drawn-out saga finally ends
Bennett’s last stand … Wayne Bennett said he was staying on Friday, but by Sunday he was sacked by the Broncos. (AAP: Glenn Hunt)
Speculation had kicked off in late October, as soon as Souths announced that Bennett — a seven-time premiership coach, six at Brisbane — would be the coach at Redfern from 2020.
Rumours of a coaching swap were confirmed a week later when Brisbane confirmed Seibold — who took the Rabbitohs to the preliminary final in his debut season — was in for 2020.
Word still persisted that a deal would be done to bring forward the change by 12 months, but nothing concrete emerged over the next month.
Things escalated on Friday, when the Broncos’ plans to announce Seibold at Red Hill were scuppered when Bennett called a press conference and vowed that he would be fulfilling the final year of his contract.
No Broncos club officials were with him, and the veteran coach’s move prompted an angry response from Seibold, who slammed Bennett for his approach.
South Sydney Rabbitohs tweet: Rabbitohs are delighted to announce that Wayne Bennett will join the club as Head Coach for the 2019 season. #GoRabbitohs
“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 over the weekend.
“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.”
The saga was finally resolved on Sunday, when the club sacked Bennett, under confidential terms.
This cleared the way for Seibold to be announced as Brisbane coach an hour or so later, while Souths confirmed Bennett’s contract was extended to three years to cover 2019.
Bennett did not appear at Rabbitohs training on Monday.