Sometimes instead of politely knocking on someone's door, you've got to just charge through it, at least in the world of Anthony Seibold that is.

The 2018 Dally M Coach of the Year is on the verge of coaching his third NRL club in six years after Des Hasler was terminated by the Sea Eagles, and Seibold is set to capitalise on the chaos.

It's nothing new for the 48 year-old.

Michael Maguire blamed Seibold for his sacking at the end of 2017 from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, closing a six-year stint that saw Maguire deliver a premiership and four finals berths for the foundation club.

While the media revealed that 'Madge' (Maguire) overworked his players and had 'lost the dressing room', the head coach believed that Seibold used that time to position himself as the future head coach of the club.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval on September 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Former Rabbitohs' boss Shane Richardson elaborated on the tension 18 months after Madge's sacking.

"Michael and Anthony didn't part very well," Richardson told WWOS in 2020.

"Maguire blamed Seibold (for his termination as head coach) and felt he was stabbed in the back to get his job.

"There is a bit of animosity between the two of them… and that's where it all came from."

Richardson is adamant Seibold didn't knife Maguire, and was only consulted about the position two days after Madge was gone, however it didn't take long for 'Seibs' to knife the club as a whole.

Finding leverage

Guiding the Rabbitohs to a top four spot and preliminary final in his first year, Seibold was crowned the Dally M Coach of the Year - and used it as leverage.

While South Sydney offered the coach a five-year deal, Seibold turned his back on those that gave him his chance, instead signing with the Brisbane Broncos on a long-term deal despite having a year to run on his Rabbitohs contract.

The Bunnies struck back by signing Wayne Bennett for 2020 and 2021, however Seibold wanted out early, while Wayne wanted a final year in Brisbane to farewell the club he established.

But what Anthony wants, Anthony gets.

Seibold and Rabbitohs' CEO Blake Solly exchanged emails in late 2018 detailing his unrest and outrage at being locked out of key decisions at the club, the messages leaking shortly afterwards to The Sunday Telegraph.

The emails detailed Seibold's inability to hire an assistant coach, Bennett's personal calls to South Sydney stars as well as recruitment decisions being taken away from the Brisbane-bound coach.

Suddenly, Wayne Bennett was given his marching orders by Brisbane, just as Des Hasler has been, and a sense of deja vu has crept over the saga.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 05: Broncos coach Wayne Bennett speaks to media after losing the round one NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on March 5, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Squad experience

One of Seibold's biggest downfalls during his brief stint in Red Hill surrounded the playing group, and the dependency on Brisbane's young stars to step up amid an exodus of experience.

While players like Sam Thaiday, Ben Hunt, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker and Justin Hodges all departed Brisbane in the few seasons preceding Seibold, the club opted to fill that void with talented rookies, not realising the dilemma they'd created.

The likes of Payne Haas, David Fifita, Tom Dearden and Kotoni Staggs are all Origin players today and the club was correct in investing in them, however it doesn't matter how good the herd is if there's no shepherd to lead them.

The writing was on the wall after the Broncos' 2019 season ended with a demoralising 58-0 loss to Parramatta in an elimination final, the club's biggest defeat ever, only to be surpassed the next season after the Roosters flogged them 59-0 at Suncorp Stadium.

The same is happening at Manly.

The club has farewelled Kieran Foran, Martin Taupau, Dylan Walker and Andrew Davey, all experienced heads on the rugby league field, and while their glory days may have come and gone, the wisdom they could offer to rookies is invaluable.

There are still veterans at the club, namely Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Trobjevic, however with reports that the pair don't get along, you need a strong coach to intervene and be the leader, something Seibold could never do in Brisbane.

Kieran Foran shows off the "Everyone in League" jersey which the Manly Sea Eagles will wear agiainst the Sydney Roosters in Round 20, 2022.

The board

At the very core of this entire saga, in the most simplest form, is a power struggle.

Hasler has always had control over a lot of decisions at the club and the players in his squad, something that was slowly drained from him over 2022, as shown over the Pride jersey drama.

Hasler's football staff signed off on the jersey and its design months before its unveiling - without consulting Hasler himself.

During Manly CEO Scott Penn's interview with Danny Weidler for Nine News, Penn ensured Sea Eagles fans knew who the hero of the story was.

"When Des walked out on us in 2011, I was the one who picked up the phone to bring him back to the club when no one else wanted him," Penn said on Nine News earlier in the week.

Seibold has dealt with a power-hungry board before.

Paul White and Karl Morris were the key figures in both Bennett's sacking and Seibold's hiring, and shunted the blame to the extent that Glenn Lazarus pleaded with White to quit his post at the club.

Craig Fitzgibbon has become the face of 'waiting for the right role' in the NRL, as opposed to just taking whatever offer comes first. The Cronulla coach could easily be in his third or fourth year of coaching, but instead of taking a role with the Knights, Tigers or Titans, he stuck it out and waited for a good opportunity.

Seibold has leapt at his chances, and yet again it looks set to land him in the middle of turmoil.

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28: Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler walks to a press conference following the round seven NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Cronulla Sharks at Central Coast Stadium on June 28, 2020 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Potential superstar departures

During Seibold's 18 month stint at the club, the Broncos lost some big fish to rivals - some with resistance, and some allowed to walk at the head coach's permission.

The club lost an uphill battle to retain David Fifita while they let Tom Dearden walk to North Queensland to focus on the cattle they were already investing their time and effort into.

The same cattle that have now departed the club to much gloomier horizons than Dearden, Queensland's most newly-minted debutant and series winner.

The manager of the Trbojevic brothers, Paul Sutton, issued a statement on Wednesday night detailing his clients unrest, especially while Jake is away on the Kangaroos tour.

“They feel that the club that they love is imploding in front of their eyes,” he said.

“They are really down in the dumps with the place.

“If it continues, it is wearing and once the place becomes unsavoury, what do you do? If it becomes untenable.

“Obviously you'd assume Tommy would be a Sea Eagle for life but all the internal rumblings and conflict have taken a toll on him mentally.

“He has expressed to me his disappointment in the club's behaviour. He has expressed he is unhappy — both Jake and Tom have.

“Jake has called me from England expressing how unhappy he is with the club. It's the same as with Tom, this has taken a toll on him.

“All this has probably changed the narrative in terms of how they felt in the past.”

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Tom Trbojevic of the Blues and Jake Trbojevic of the Blues pose with the trophy following game three of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


It seems a matter of when not if Seibold is announced as Manly's new head coach, rejoining the club he departed at the backend of 2016.

According to multiple reports, Hasler's manager George Mimis has been informed of his client's termination, and is awaiting official documentation before the axing is announced by the club itself.

Des is readying himself for a legal battle as Manly seeks to escape a payout, despite Hasler being owed $900,000 for the 2023 NRL season.

And Seibold, once again, has been thrown into the middle of it all like an unaware grenade on a battle field, ready to blow up everything around him, including himself.

There's no doubt he has the knowledge and ability to put the Sea Eagles back on the right track, however whether he can do it in yet again another tumultuous environment is a question not even he can answer yet.

While the ball is in Seibold's court now, there are so many things deciding which way it will bounce. Only Anthony knows whether he can return serve without letting the external factors cruel another promising career move.


  1. Siebold is on a hiding to nothing working for that dysfunctional farce of a club. Why he would dare take on a poisoned chalice is beyond belief.

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