Rugby league great Phil Gould has revealed that a tug of war between old and new players was the main reason behind Wayne Bennett’s departure from the Broncos.
Despite being at the helm for all of the Broncos’ six premierships, Bennett was shown the door at the end of 2018, with the club opting for then-South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold.
However, amid the struggles this year, Seibold’s position has come under fire, and after maintaining 18 months of silence since being replaced, Bennett finally took aim at his old club this week after comments from Broncos chairman Karl Morris.
Speaking on his Six Tackles With Gus podcast, Gould offered an insight into why the Broncos replaced the club icon Bennett with the younger Seibold.
“It’s my understanding that there was too big a mixture there between the old and the new,” he revealed.
“The new wave player there probably wasn’t getting as much out of the older coach as they would have liked and the older players were a little bit stuck in their ways and the club made a decision, not the coaches, the club made a decision that they wanted to go down a different line, that they needed something new and fresh and the future that they wanted to build their own roster over a period of time.
“Mind you they had a very good start with some of the best young forwards in the game on their list there.
“But a more scientific and academic approach to the game (is what the club wanted in their coach) a more studious approach to the game than probably what Wayne was offering them at the time.
“Wayne is a very unique individual, very unique style, and it’s stood the test of time for three or four decades, so I’m not criticising his coaching style at all, but sometimes those within clubs think that it needs to be different and they want a change for whatever reason, someone’s advised them.
“So that’s the road that they went down, Anthony Seibold was the bold new world of coaching expertise.”
Gould added that he agreed with Bennett’s comments that Seibold had inherited a top-four calibre roster when he took the Brisbane job.
“They’re all very good points and I can remember myself, I think at the start of last season, backing the Broncos as a top four team, and had them as a top four team the previous year under Wayne Bennett as well,” he said.
“It’s a little bit like when the country changes government, a lot of the blame goes on the previous government as to the situation that they find themselves in, so it’s quite easy to blame those that aren’t around and in the realms of self-preservation concoct stories that aren’t quite accurate but give you a bit of lead time in what you’re trying to do.
“Having said that, look, I don’t think there would have been any coach worth his salt who wouldn’t have wanted to get hold of that roster at the start of last season.
“But those internally know where they are with their salary cap and know where they are with their production line and they know where they are with the culture within the club.”