Seibold sticks with battling Broncos halves
Anthony Seibold has backed his under-fire halves pairing with the Broncos coach keeping faith in the Darius Boyd-Jake Turpin alliance for Friday night's crucial showdown with Penrith.
In a dual blow for the Broncos, Queensland Origin back-rower Matt Gillett's stint on the sidelines continues due to a back injury, while veteran utility Alex Glenn is expected to miss the clash at Suncorp Stadium with a knee complaint.
The big-name duo were only named in Brisbane's extended 21-man squad and will be officially scratched by Seibold if they can't train on Wednesday or Thursday
Seibold is determined to stabilise his side, with the Broncos mentor sticking solid with the 17 troops who conjured a great escape to beat the Cowboys 18-14 in Townsville last week and keep their finals hopes alive.
Seibold's faith extends to his scrumbase, resisting the temptation to recall 18-year-old halfback Tom Dearden as he holds his nerve with the Boyd-Turpin union that has lost just once in six matches.
While Turpin has been gutsy at halfback, scoring the matchwinner in the Queensland derby, Boyd has been pilloried for going missing in attack, running just twice for seven metres in his last 160 minutes at five-eighth.
Seibold described his side's attack against the Cowboys as "frantic" and Boyd and Turpin face a daunting scrumbase assignment this Friday night when they confront Penrith duo James Maloney and Nathan Cleary.
The eighth-placed Broncos can leapfrog Penrith with victory and 253-game NRL veteran Andrew McCullough is adamant the Boyd-Turpin halves pairing can steer Brisbane to the finals.
"I think they're going really good," McCullough said.
"They've had six games there together so it's a work in progress.
"Overall, both bring different sets of skills.
"Darius makes the calls on where they want the field position and 'Turps' is just an energetic footballer and is just happy to be there and he's certainly doing his role.
"At the moment, I think it's a sign of good team culture when other blokes are happy to play different positions."
The Broncos have lost just one game in their past six matches and will face a peppy Panthers buoyed by the return of classy NSW Origin pivot Maloney.
The absence of Gillett and Glenn, who share 451 NRL games between them, are major body blows for a Broncos side craving big-match experience in the run to the playoffs.
Seibold insists Gillett's latest injury is not career-threatening but the Maroons ace, who turned 31 on Monday, has not been seen in Broncos colours since June 29 prior to Origin III.
McCullough remains confident the Broncos can qualify for the finals.
"You can certainly get on a roll and if things start gelling, you start to get some confidence," he said.
"Teams get a bit nervous when you come up against a team who are starting to put a few wins together.
"At this time of year, you get a lot of tight contests and some desperation in a lot of teams."
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