Demoralised Broncos turn to Wayne Bennett


Several Broncos players and staff have spoken to former coach Wayne Bennett about the pressures tearing down the club he made great.

For more than 40 years Bennett, now coaching South Sydney, has leant an empathetic ear to past players and staff members who confide to him about their challenges.

This season it is understood some of the calls have come from people in or around the current squad exasperated about the plight of a club which has lost six games in a row.

The Broncos face "Flashpoint Fortnight" with games against the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers.

Bennett left the club at the end of the 2018 season and while he was a polarising figure, his decades of service there left him with many lifelong friendships and he remains well-informed about the inner-workings of the club.

His anger with the current Broncos regime was laid bare in a witheringly candid interview with News Corp last week when he took aim at Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and chairman Karl Morris who questioned the state Bennett left the club in, saying Seibold would take "two years to sort out the issues he inherited."

"I did not coach or have a run down football team at the Broncos," Bennett said.

"Seibold has 12 players with Origin or Test experience. We are being lost in the smoke and mirrors. There is a lot of talent there under Seibold but no-one is playing to their talent."

Seibold faces a critical selection call on veteran Darius Boyd and his under-fire halves as Kotoni Staggs leads a horde of returning Broncos in the next fortnight.

The return of Kotoni Staggs from a hamstring injury has placed pressure of veteran centre Darius Boyd but it would not surprise if he escapes the axe when the team is announced on Tuesday.

Boyd could well partner Staggs in the centres despite widespread speculation he was set to be axed.

Young halfback Tom Dearden is in strong contention for a halves berth with Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford perpetually in the gun while Matt Lodge could return from injury to add experience to a young pack which appears to have lost its way.

A win or two in the next fortnight might not be enough to salvage Brisbane's season but it would take the pressure off Seibold.

Brisbane have eased to $7.50 chances to make the finals and would likely need to win eight of their last 12 games to be a chance of making the eight.



Originally published as Demoralised Broncos turn to Wayne Bennett