Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold. Photo: Courier Mail
Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold. Photo: Courier Mail

Sorry saga tarnishes everyone involved

Common sense has fought its way through the madness but all parties involved in the Great Coach Swap leave with severe damage to their reputations.

Anthony Seibold has the keys to the Broncos kingdom but the question lingers - is he the right man for the job?

The shamelessly ambitious Seibold got where he wanted in the end but people closer to the action than I am have been less than impressed with the way he has handled himself.

They saw the way he cracked badly under pressure over the last few days and have lingering doubts whether he has the temperament suited to the acutely stressful job of coaching the Broncos.

When it comes to pressure, as the saying goes, he ain't seen nothing yet.

Deciding who is going to play left centre or how to run a decoy play have never been the issues that have decided the longevity of Broncos coaches.

It's how they handle the off-field pressures that often counts most, which is where Seibold has been exposed in this issue.

For all of his foibles, many of which have been exposed in this saga, this was one of Bennett's great strengths.

Everyone played the victim in this story. The truth is everyone was at fault.

It's hard to have much sympathy for Seibold, Bennett or either club.

 

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White announces Wayne Bennett's sacking.
Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White announces Wayne Bennett's sacking.

Because of its obsession for planning one or two years ahead rugby league has been heading for a debacle like this for some time.

Bennett confused everyone by being too smart for his own good.

Bennett had my sympathy for a long way in this debate.

He had a contract at the Broncos for next season and he should not have had to apologise for keeping his word and staying at Red Hill.

But Sunday's exceptional scoop by Phil Rothfield on the Seibold situation shifted the landscape and cast a damning spotlight on some of Bennett's public statements.

In a press conference last Friday, Bennett said categorically he never told Souths he was joining them.

Well, you could have fooled Souths.

Seibold claimed he was told twice by Rabbitohs football manager Shane Richardson that Bennett had agreed to join Souths next season; that Bennett had been talking to Rabbitoh players Damien Cook, Alex Johnston, Sam Burgess; that Bennett had been consulted in the possible recruitment of Liam Knight; that everything was so advanced Seibold cleaned out his desk on Thursday afternoon.

If it's true Bennett never told Souths he was coming then why was he suddenly the key voice in recruitment?

I'm not sure who is responsible for all the half-truths in this.

The only thing we can guarantee is that there have been plenty of them.

The only relief is that it seems to be all over.

News Corp Australia


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