To say that the Broncos have both underwhelmed and under delivered in 2019 would be a drastic understatement.
It simply wasn’t meant to unfold this way.
After finishing in 6th position in 2018, missing out on a top four spot by only a game, this season was meant to be the final step.
The return to glory for the once mighty Brisbane Broncos.
Gone was the successful but old thinking Wayne Bennett, to be replaced by the fresh ideas of Anythony Seibold.
Surely nothing could stop the Broncs after the addition of the man who took Souths to a prelim in his first full season as an NRL mentor.
Instead it has been an absolute disaster and has seen stock in the games most admired young coach take a huge plunge.
Although technically not out of the race for the finals yet, not even the most rusted on Broncos fan can honestly predict anything close to a title.
Instead of fighting for the top four as expected the hugely successful club has entered a rebuild of sorts.
A rebuild that no one saw coming and even fewer who thought it were necessary.
With all due respect to Seibold, who I still believe is a wonderful coach and will turn it around at Red Hill, he has badly butchered a rebuild the club did not need.
I totally understand why Seibold has made the decisions he has. You could even say he was somewhat pushed into it by the form of his players.
That said, this is a side who was one game outside last year’s top four, a side with the best young forward pack we may have ever seen, and two young representative halves.
Nothing short of a serious push for a top four spot would have satisfied.
Fast forward past the Origin period and it took the Broncos a last ditch win over a dire Sharks side to keep their season alive.
One of the aforementioned rep halves, Kodi Nikorima was sent across the Tasman and is now leading the Warriors finals charge.
The move was the answer to “Milford or Nikorima” after it was deemed that their games were too similar.
Given his reputation, talents and pay packet, Milford was never likely to be the one to make way.
Nikorima’s shift allowed Milford to take over as the lead half while allowing Seibold to blood his extremely talented halves prospects.
Except Milford lasted all of a game or two as the dominant half before being shifted to full back.
Although I suspect off field issues played a huge part in the decision, the Broncs then lost their most dangerous outside back in James Roberts.
The former Origin centre was allowed to exit to the Bunnies after his form suffered. One gets the feeling Roberts is best served under the watchful eye of Bennett.
Kahu was also allowed to move north while rookie star Jamayne Isaako has been in and out of first grade despite representing New Zealand twice during the NRL off-season.
There is every chance the Broncos succeed in the future on the back of an insanely powerful, young forward pack, but it won’t be in 2019.
Bennett built a side capable of a title tilt in 2019/20.
His comical, and truthfully embarrassing soap opera of an exit seems to have stunted any chance the club had of 2019 being fruitful.
Yes they’ve re-signed nearly all of their young pack. Yes they’ve blooded done talented young outside backs and a young halfback… But they didn’t need to.
I’m all for a good rebuild, but Seibold wasn’t brought in to take a bottom four club forward with a look to the future.
He was brought in to win a title that Wayne Bennett supposedly could not deliver.
If it were about long term the club wouldn’t have played their part in the ludacruous “will he/won’t he?” swap in the off-season.
Bennett couldn’t deliver the Premiership in 2019 but Seibold could, hence the mad rush to swap coaches a year early.
Instead the Broncos are 13th, two wins outside the finals and with three rep players less than they began their preseason campaign.
I don’t include Josh McGuire in that list as he was obviously moved on to focus on their younger forwards, a very positive move.
In terms of rebuilds, this looks a good one, I suppose, but it wasn’t needed.
Happy to eat my words in three years time but as for 2019 it’s safe to say this wasn’t the obvious plan or desired outcome.