Walters v Green: Stats behind Broncos coaching battle
The Brisbane Broncos are about to embark on a defining process which will decide how quickly the club can return to greatness.
Sitting second-last on the NRL ladder, the Broncos are at the lowest point they have ever been since coming to life in 1988.
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And there are seemingly only two men that can orchestrate a Red Hill revival - Kevin Walters and Paul Green.
The NRL coaching carousel has been swinging so quickly this year that Walters and Green, once Queensland State of Origin teammates, are the main contenders to become the fifth coach of the Broncos.
At this stage, there appears to be no other genuine option, although that could change in the fast-moving world of the NRL.
So when the Broncos board sits down to analyse Walters and Green, they must ask themselves the following questions.
Does Walters have the credentials and experience to succeed in the role or would his appointment be based more on emotion and gut instinct?
After an outstanding first four seasons, what happened to the North Queensland Cowboys over the past three years that lead to Green's sacking in July?
If the Broncos can definitively answers those questions then the right option will become clear.
Walters and Green both boast impressive resumes but they are not without faults.
Here are the reasons why they should and shouldn't secure the job.
- Former captain and five-time premiership winner as a player at the Broncos.
- Former assistant to NRL super coaches Craig Bellamy (Melbourne) and Wayne Bennett (Brisbane and Newcastle).
- Successful State of Origin coaching record with two series wins from four years (12 games, six wins) during major transitional period for Queensland.
- Coached Ipswich Jets to their first Queensland Cup minor premiership (2008) before losing the grand final to Souths-Logan.
- Coached Catalans to their best ever Super League season where they fell one game short of the 2009 grand final.
- Popular figure among Broncos playing group and worked successfully with many during the 2015 grand final season.
- Limited experience as a head coach full time at professional level and never coached in the NRL.
- Last full time head coaching role was at Catalans in 2009-10 (37 per cent winning record).
- Was overlooked for the Broncos job when Anthony Seibold was appointed in 2018.
- Has missed out on head coach jobs at the Wests Tigers and Cowboys (when Green was appointed) and must overcome perceptions as to why he didn't secure those.
- Proven and experienced NRL coach following seven years at North Queensland Cowboys (2014-20).
- Coached Cowboys in historic 2015 NRL premiership win against Broncos.
- Took Cowboys to 2017 grand final (lost to Melbourne) while club legends Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott were injured.
- Winning record as an NRL coach - 87 wins from 167 games (52 per cent).
- Assistant coach to Trent Robinson in Roosters' 2013 NRL premiership and took under-20s to preliminary final that year.
- Won two Intrust Super Cup premierships coaching Wynnum-Manly (2011-12).
- Former Broncos player (five games in 2004) and was a specialist/assistant coach at the club from 2005-09.
- Sacked by the Cowboys in July on the back of three losing seasons which has culminated in club being in wooden spoon contention this year.
- Winning record of 34 per cent (20 wins from 58 games) over last two-and-a-half- seasons at Cowboys.
- Cowboys seemingly failed to overcome the retirements of Thurston and Scott while staying loyal to underperforming older players.
- Rising stars Kalyn Ponga, Viliame Kikau, Brandon Smith and Corey Horsburgh left the Cowboys for rival clubs during Green's tenure.
- Perception Green fell-out-of-favour with Cowboys players and his style eventually wore thin on club.
If Broncos powerbrokers want a proven NRL coach with premiership-winning experience then the job is Green's.
But if they want a character that could potentially unify a fractured club in need of spirit then Walters appears to be the man.
Those in power at Red Hill must leave no stone unturned before making a decision that could define the next decade of the Broncos.