The mixed fortunes of Seibold’s original Broncos
When Anthony Seibold inherited his Broncos team at the start of 2019, there were plenty of whispers that his playing group was loyal to Wayne Bennett.
So what's happened since? We look at the roster Seibold was handed and their fortunes for 2019.
The Kiwi international left the Broncos in March to pursue an opportunity for more first-grade games at the Cowboys. The 95-game Bronco admitted he didn't think he would be a "first-choice player" under Anthony Seibold so opted to move north to Townsville in a bid to play more NRL. Seibold said he had spoken to Kahu earlier in the year about Darius Boyd being their first-choice fullback at the time.
The 25-year-old left Red Hill in May to join the Warriors after being told his spot was not guaranteed beyond 2020. Within the space of 15 days, Nikorima went from Brisbane's No.1 halfback to a Warriors playmaker who defeated his former side 26-18 during this year's Magic Round. The absence of Nikorima freed up cash in the Broncos salary cap to re-sign their young forward pack.
James Roberts' career at the Broncos was in limbo at the beginning of the season after being dropped out of the starting side and forced to play in the Intrust Super Cup. Seibold insisted his relegation to the QCUp was due to a form slump and the rise of young guns Gehamat Shibasaki and Kotoni Staggs. The Rabbitohs announced the signing of Roberts in May with coach Wayne Bennett vowing he would "fix" the former NSW flyer.
The 21-year-old left the Broncos just before the June 30 deadline to join the Rabbitohs on a two and a half year contract. The Broncos gave permission for the young backrower to reunite with former coach Bennett after failing to crack the first-grade squad under Siebold.
Whether it's because of Seibold or not, the 19-year-old is going from strength to strength. His runaway try against the Panthers last week epitomised his ability to break tackles and move quickly. He has scored four tries this season and averaging 173 running metres per game. He was selected to make his State of Origin debut for NSW earlier in the year and is fast becoming the best prop in the game at the moment.
In January, Turpin didn't even feature in Brisbane's 30-man full time squad. Today, the 22-year-old has become the club's Mr Fix-It with a 61 per cent win rate in his 15 games this season. The star player has scored a match-winner and filled in four different roles. He signed a three year deal with the club earlier this month.
Staggs began the season with the expectation of being Brisbane's No.14 utility, however with Seibold's changes to the backline, he has become one of the in-form centres of the game. The hard-running 20-year-old has scored eight tries and made 47 tackle breaks in just 20 games.
Other NRL clubs are circling for Fifita's signature and for good reason. Another of the young Broncos forwards making his mark on the NRL, Fifita has developed into a devastating backrower under Seibold. The Broncos are keen to hold on to the 19-year-old who's contract finishes at the end of 2020.
Lodge has become one of the best middle forwards of the competition this season and a future leader of the Broncos. He was expected to make his Origin debut this year on the back of a great start to the year. His consistent performance earned him a three-year extension with the club and has been touted as a future captain.
Tevita Pangai Jr
Another young Bronco who has been part of Seibold's retention plan at Red Hill, re-signing until the end of 2022. Pangai Jr has asserted himself as a force to be reckoned, averaging a career-high 112 running metres this year and has become an offload king.
Ofahengaue has improved even more this year, making his Origin debut for the Maroons earlier this year. Despite missing several games through injury, the 23-year-old has continued his impressive run in the NRL this year.
The club's million dollar man was part of Seibold's critical positional switch with captain Darius Boyd midway through the season. However, Milford's shift to fullback has increased his average running metres to over 100m per game. The Broncos have lost just two games from seven since the move.
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Another one part of Seibold's retention plan, Carrigan made his debut in Round 5 this year and continues to improve. The physiotherapy student has averaged 31 minutes off the bench and re-signed with the club until the end of 2022 in May.
The Tully product is another young Bronco who the club are hoping to retain for the long term. Contracted until the end of next season, the Broncos have already moved to stave off rival clubs to keep Flegler until the end of 2022.
The 18-year-old made his NRL debut under Seibold after Nikorima left the club. Despite only playing five games before inevitable being ruled out for the rest of the season, Dearden was impressive in his first outing at first-grade.
MORE TO DO
The Broncos skipper was part of Seibold's million dollar positional switch and it has earned him plenty of criticism. There have been calls for Boyd to switch out to the centres in a bid to hold on to his NRL career after being lambasted for his poor defence and running game. However, Boyd pointed out that since the switch, the Broncos have lost just two from seven.
The talented winger has had an up and down season through form and personal reasons. Last year's Dally M Rookie of the Year had a slow start to the season and has been shifted out to the wing. He is averaging more running metres and more try assists this year compared to last year though.
The Kiwi international has an uncertain future at Red Hill, remaining unsigned for next season. It is understood the Broncos are keen to keep Glenn at the club but he may need to take a pay cut as the club hopes to hold on to the younger forward pack.
Another club star who remains unsigned for next season. Oates has been criticised for his form at club level at times, openly admitting he had a "talking to" with Seibold about his performance.
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