The Broncos now sit just one win from five rounds of football in 2019.
This is a side that, in the pre-season, was among the NRL heavyweights. Many, myself included, had them comfortably in the eight, possibly even in the top four.
They have an all-star forward pack, two rep halves, a returning NSW quality and premiership winner Jack Bird, and a brand new coach coming off a brilliant 2018.
The will he/won’t he saga that took up the first half of the pre-season that saw Bennett and Seibold ultimately swap coaching positions wasn’t an ideal build up, but it was fairly tame compared to other clubs.
With a brilliant roster and talented coach, anything less than a top-eight finish would be an abject failure.
Despite being one win from five, their season is far from over. Let’s be honest here, the opening month doesn’t really matter. It sets a tone and obviously you’d rather be 3-2 then 0-5, but titles aren’t won in the opening rounds.
They’re certainly lost though!!!
The Broncos, right now, look at long odds to win the title.
That seems obvious and probably silly to say but let’s not forget what the Broncos management did here in moving on Wayne Bennett.
Seibold was brought in because the Broncos brass decided Wayne Bennett, the most successful coach in the game’s history, couldn’t deliver a premiership. Seibold supposedly could.
The risk was huge and the reward was to be a title.
I’m calling it now, and believe me I’m not the only one; The Broncos can’t win a premiership with a spine of Boyd, Milford, Nikorima and McCullough.
All wonderful players, but that four-man spine can’t win a title. Nikorima and Milford are too alike, McCullough doesn’t offer the attacking instincts needed to overcome two halves down on their form, and Boyd is coming to the end of a brilliant career.
I didn’t mean for this to be a sink the boot piece, as I’m one of Boyd’s biggest fans, and I think Nikorima cops a lot of undue flack.
That said, there’s a HUGE decision looming for Seibold as this Broncos outfit is it’s own worst enemy.
They were WOEFUL against the Roosters. Worst performance of the season. Almost unwatchable. Their effort seemed down, their direction was non-existent and there are videos of certain players who look like they’ve got no interest in last-ditch tackles.
I’m sure that’s not the case but the video doesn’t lie. It certainly raises the question, at very least.
Last Thursday when Michael Chee-Kam busted through four defenders, FOUR, he found space that was never there. Will all due respect to the talented Tigers utility, it’s not as though this is Josh Addo Carr busting through four front rowers.
MCK had no right to score that try. Four men looked at each other and left a hole for the Tigers to win the game.
Darius Boyd wasn’t in the same postcode when he attempted to make the cover tackle. Again, it was a clever step, but he was legit two metres from the play when he fell over.
Let’s not forget that this came one set after the Broncos absolutely murdered an easy opportunity for a field goal. They didn’t even get a shot off such was the disgraceful setup.
Right now Darius Boyd can’t be disappointed if his name isn’t on the team list next week.
That’s a huge call for one of the best fullbacks of this era. Some will laugh at that statement but the proof is there. Multiple titles, incredible stats, a closet full of rep jerseys. Try to argue.
In the space of two weeks, there have been three awful ‘efforts’ to stop tries. I’m not saying he would have saved any, let alone all, but his lack of urgency and positioning meant a small chance became zero chance.
Nikorima and Milford need to cop grief for their lack of direction against the Tigers.
That game was the Broncos’ to lose. They had a full set of six on the half way line. They spent the first two tackles going backwards!!!
Last week against the Dragons when it became time for the shot, neither Nikorima nor Milford stepped up. Instead, it was left to Isaako, a young winger.
Nikorima has never kicked a field goal in 86 NRL appearances. As a halfback. Yikes!
Chad Townsend, in 83 games for the Sharks has six. Ash Taylor has three in 69 games.
The question is going to be asked whether Boyd and Nikorima are the best options. Milford’s form has been poor but they’re paying him the better part of a million dollars a season, he’s not playing QLD Cup.
Does Seibold have the mettle to make those huge calls?
Dropping Nikorima for the very talented Sean O’Sullivan isn’t an earth-shattering call if made, but dropping club legend Darius Boyd is not going to be easy.
Calls for the shifting of Isaako to fullback are growing louder. He’s a brilliant talent and his game needs to grow with more involvement. It could be at fullback.
Maybe it’s not as easy as dropping two out of form players. Possibly one.
They’ll probably come out and battle it out for the 3 Dally M points next week after all the talk, but all eyes are now on Seibold.
For the first time in his short career, he’s under intense scrutiny.
There’s a HUGE decision coming up. Can he make it?
Either way, he’s going to have to earn his money!!!