BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Tevita Pangai Junior of the Broncos takes on the defence during the round 3 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium at Suncorp Stadium on March 28, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Tevita Pangai Junior of the Broncos takes on the defence during the round 3 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium at Suncorp Stadium on March 28, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Broncos kidding themselves with youth excuse

Anthony Seibold says the Broncos must have a hard look at their takeaways after Thursday night's loss.

I agree that the players have to watch what they eat but I can't see how a change from Domino's to Hungry Jacks is going to alleviate the defensive and handling lapses they showed against the Dragons.

Seems to me the one thing that will do that is time.

And of course that is the one thing they haven't got.

 

Jack Bird, Darius Boys and Alex Glenn show their frustration after a Dragons try. Picture: AAP
Jack Bird, Darius Boys and Alex Glenn show their frustration after a Dragons try. Picture: AAP

 

The late, great Jack Gibson once said that he didn't believe in potential.

As he put it, "If a player has got potential I want to know why he's not using it now."

By that I think he meant he didn't have time to wait around for a player to develop. He needed them right then and there.

Anthony Seibold actually has a lot in common with Jack. For starters it takes a bit of practise to work out what he's saying.

I heard someone this week describe the way that Seibold talks as "speaking in tongues".

Be that as it may, I'm sure once the players get used to him and his ways, just like Jack, he'll make a lot of sense.

 

LISTEN! In the second episode of his No.1 podcast, Matty drills down on the Keary/Cronk combination, lauds the small forward revolution and tells how the Knights almost sacked him - twice.

 

 

 

The problem is, how long is that going to take? Obviously it's way too early to start ringing the panic button yet. One win from three starts is hardly terminal, but next up is the Roosters.

One from four? Not so good.

But didn't Wayne Bennett say this was the best pack he ever coached?

Well, Wayne would say that wouldn't he? Just like he said that Ivan Henjak should take over when he left the Broncos first time around, and Steve Price at the Dragons and Rick Stone at the Knights.

Wayne likes to leave a ticking time bomb in the bottom drawer when he heads out the door.

Which is not to say that the Broncos young guns aren't big and strong and fast and skilful. They are, but they are also raw.

 

 

Wayne Bennett’s best pack, or just the youngest? Picture: AAP.
Wayne Bennett’s best pack, or just the youngest? Picture: AAP.

 

Another of Wayne's former assistant coaches, Anthony Griffin summed it up perfectly when assessing Brisbane chances before the start of this season.

"One of the most difficult things for young forwards to learn in the NRL is how to handle the defensive grind," he said.

"The mental and physical battle, under fatigue, to keep turning up and repel the attacking team. Can you dominate and pressure them, especially when they've had the ball for long periods of time?

"There is no doubt that they will be a handful in attack for any team, but are the likes of Pangai Jnr and Haas etc. going to be able to hold their hands up for long minutes against quality NRL attacking teams for 28 weeks?"

 

 

Forget 28 weeks. So far they haven't been able to do it for two.

After his Mighty Hulk performance against the Taumalolo-less Cowboys in Round 2 Pangai was being measured for his statue outside Suncorp Stadium.

Against the Dragons six days later he was a non-event. The pressure of backing up proved too much, which highlights the Broncos' biggest issue over the next couple of seasons.

They are heavily loaded with outstanding youngsters who will take up a huge proportion of the salary cap to retain.

When Bennett signed Payne Haas to a multimillion-dollar deal after only four first grade games he threw the Broncos' long-term successful pyramid salary system out the window. (Another hand grenade?)

 

Alex Glenn, Broncos’ best against the Dragons, said to be in the crosshairs. Picture: AAP
Alex Glenn, Broncos’ best against the Dragons, said to be in the crosshairs. Picture: AAP

 

Now the club is going to have to jettison experienced players if they are to hang on to the likes of Pangai Jnr.

Said to be first in the crosshairs is Alex Glenn who was Brisbane's best forward against the Dragons.

Maybe it's not the takeaways the Broncos should be most concerned about. It's the stay-at-homes.