The downfall of Anthony Seibold has been tragically swift.
Less than two years ago, Seibold was named Coach of the Year at the 2018 Dally M Awards, having completed his maiden season as an NRL coach with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Broncos quickly earmarked him as their best option to replace Wayne Bennett, and after an awkward transition Seibold was touted as the man to lead the Broncos to their first premiership since 2006.
But after a modest 2019 season — in which Brisbane narrowly qualified for the finals despite recording more losses than defeats — the Broncos bowed out of the NRL premiership with a humiliating 58-0 loss to the Parramatta Eels.
Since that record defeat, everything that could go wrong for Seibold, seemingly has.
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Ahead of the 2020 season, Seibold sacked Darius Boyd as captain and anointed Alex Glenn as his replacement — after the New Zealand forward had considered leaving the club months earlier.
Roster mismanagement has also proven critical for Brisbane — Kodi Nikorima, Jaydn Su’A and Patrick Mago were let go from the Broncos, only to unearth career-best form at other clubs.
Seibold’s dependance on Melbourne Storm halfback Brodie Croft as a chief playmaker has not paid dividends either.
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold speaks to the media.Source:Getty Images
The coronavirus lockdown threw the entire sporting world into disarray, but the Broncos in particular struggled to regroup following the hiatus.
Whether it was due to fitness or inability to integrate the new set restart rules, Brisbane quickly became a laughing stock.
The Broncos have only recorded one victory in their last 13 encounters, and have comfortably conceded more points than any club in the NRL this season.
On average, Brisbane’s opponents have scored 31 points per game, while the struggling club has only managed 14 per game themselves.
The NRL powerhouse is now a favourite to claim the wooden spoon — it’s hardly fathomable.
As suggested by The Courier-Mail, Seibold had a tendency to over-complicate his strategies, which left players perplexed. The Brisbane roster struggled to embrace the complex plans, a significant reason for Anthony Milford’s dip in form.
Cracks slowly started to appear in Seibold’s relationship with his players, and the issues were blatantly clear in July. After suffering six consecutive NRL defeats, Brisbane captain Alex Glenn revealed the squad had opted to dictate preparations themselves, because the players “weren’t having fun at training”.
So disjointed was their trust in the coaching staff, the players were taking matters into their own hands.
Seibold was also reluctant to budge on his methodology — according to NRL.com, several Broncos players claimed their coach had repeatedly ignored advice, determined his strategies would eventually come together.
An emphasis on notepads sessions was also made a mockery of, and as revealed by NRL.com, centre James Roberts spent one session repeatedly jotting down his signature instead of taking notes.
Anthony Seibold at Broncos Training.Source:News Corp Australia
Seibold’s obsession with motivational quotes and speeches did not resonate with his players, and according to The Courier-Mail, he would rip down slogans from within the club’s facilities, eradicating any lingering reference to Bennett.
On-field performances — or a lack thereof — were only exacerbated by countless off-field controversies.
Earlier this month, Seibold was forced into a 14-day quarantine after choosing to leave the squad’s bubble to attend to a family matter. Meanwhile, salacious rumours circulated on social about the Broncos coach, who was forced into hiring lawyers.
Soon after, 10 Brisbane players were then caught breaching the league’s strict biosecurity protocols to enjoy a few beverages at a pub, and the club was heavily sanctioned.
Brisbane young gun David Fifita eventually had enough, signing with the Gold Coast Titans for the 2021 season. Eighteen months ago, Broncos fans would have laughed at the suggestion, but now it appears to be an understandable move.
Combined with Tevita Pangai Jr’s barber shop visit, the Kotoni Staggs revenge porn scandal and ongoing financial woes, Seibold’s demise was inevitable.
And so, Seibold’s mammoth five-year contract has been cut short — the 45-year-old ends his stint at Red Hill with a win ratio of 37 per cent, and leaves behind a club desperate for a fresh start.
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