Infotainment Factory: Bennett's thinly-veiled swipe at Broncos

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Bennett's thinly-veiled swipe at Broncos


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All eyes are on Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold before the Thursday night clash between South Sydney and Brisbane - the first time the coaches will face off since their controversial off-season coach swap.

The two coaches both tried to hose down any talk of an ongoing feud or bad blood, but Bennett's blunt responses were revealing.

"Well it was the only thing in my career that was missing," Bennett said of his sacking from Brisbane.

"Deep down I was happy. I'd achieved everything else.

"I got another job the next day and got on with life"

A trademark icy Bennett answered questions about whether he still had a relationship with Seibold since the pair swapped clubs.

"I haven't had one before, I haven't had one now," Bennett snapped.

The Rabbitohs coach said he wouldn't be rushing to shake hands with Broncos CEO Paul White either following the match on Thursday, and he didn't exactly have a glowing assessment of Seibold's coaching ability.

"I've got not idea. He never coached me," Bennett said, though Seibold was in the lower grades in the 90s while Bennett coached the first grade Broncos side.

"I don't think I was a mentor of his.

"I didn't see a lot of him, he didn't play in the first-grade squad."

The contract clause Gus Gould hates

Bennett appeared to also take a thinly-veiled swipe at the Broncos over their treatment of half Kodi Nikorima who is set be snapped up mid-season by the NZ Warriors after falling out of favour at Red Hill.

Nikorima will miss Brisbane's clash against South Sydney, a move Bennett said was brave.

"I thought he showed a lot of courage to do that," Bennett said of Nikorima sitting out the game.

"It's easy to go with the flow sometimes. Kodi is someone I had a lot to deal with, particularly his development. I was there for four years with him. I rate him very highly and I'm pleased that he's strong enough to stand up for himself."

Wayne Bennett at Rabbitohs training

On Six Tackles with Gus, Phil Gould predicted that Bennett would relish the added attention from the media in the lead-up to the highly-anticipated game between the Rabbitohs and Broncos at ANZ Stadium.

"[Bennett will be] absolutely loving it. Loving it, but not letting on," Gould said.

"He would be loving the fact that South Sydney are sitting up there and the Broncos are struggling.

"He'll tease the media. He teases and taunts them and directs them, leads them around by the wrist. That's just what he does and he's very very good at it."

Gould said the experience Bennett has gives him an advantage in dealing with the media circus and NRL coaching merry-go-rounds, but there lies a greater challenge for Seibold.

"Wayne Bennett, he's coached against the Broncos many times because he coached the Dragons and coached Newcastle, and win, lose or draw it'll be no skin off his nose. He knows exactly where he's going and that's going to be important for his team in preparation," Gould said.

"If players get a sense that something is about the coach and not about them they can be quite distracted. So Anthony Seibold's challenge is to coach his team and not look for one moment as though he's rattled or even thinking about the fact he's coaching against South Sydney.

"It won't change in any way, shape or form Wayne Bennett's demeanor, whatsoever. There'll be no effect on this South Sydney team."

Wayne Bennett and Kodi Nikorima

Seibold tried to downplay any speculation of a feud in the aftermath of the coach swap though at the time it was unfolding it appeared to cause significant stress to the former Souths coach and his family.

"I don't really know Wayne personally, but I wish him all the best," Seibold said.

"There's no negativity in my mind; what he did at this club is second to none and he's left a legacy wherever he's been.

"It was a strange old time but one thing I've learnt about rugby league is that there's a lot of games played behind the scenes and you don't appreciate that when you're an assistant coach or player.

"But I don't have any negative feelings; we've all moved on."

He also responded to the drama surrounding Nikorima's future at the club.

"Kodi had an option in his favour for 2020, he wanted to see what else was out there," Seibold said.

"As a club we could only guarantee 2020; we wanted to have a look at our options going forward as every club does.

"As I'm sure has been reported the Warriors have offered him a substantial financial deal for four years ... he's taking a couple of days to go through that process."

Young half to make Broncos debut

Teenage sensation Tom Dearden will debut in Nikorima's place against South Sydney.

"It's a club's prerogative, everyone needs to look after themselves," Seibold said.

"[Nikorima has] got a lot to consider; been at this club since he was 12, 13 so it's not a decision that comes lightly for him."

Brisbane have had an up-and-down season with a 2-5 win-loss record thus far. Their win against Cronulla last week would have uplifted the group, but facing the 6-1 Rabbitohs will be a difficult task.

"I think it's a fantastic week, rather than dwell on any negatives or what's happened in the past," Seibold said.

"I'd imagine there's great hype around the game."

All eyes are on Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold before the Thursday night clash between South Sydney and Brisbane - the first time the coaches will face off since their controversial off-season coach swap.

The two coaches both tried to hose down any talk of an ongoing feud or bad blood, but Bennett's blunt responses were revealing.

"Well it was the only thing in my career that was missing," Bennett said of his sacking from Brisbane.

"Deep down I was happy. I'd achieved everything else.

"I got another job the next day and got on with life"

A trademark icy Bennett answered questions about whether he still had a relationship with Seibold since the pair swapped clubs.

"I haven't had one before, I haven't had one now," Bennett snapped.

The Rabbitohs coach said he wouldn't be rushing to shake hands with Broncos CEO Paul White either following the match on Thursday, and he didn't exactly have a glowing assessment of Seibold's coaching ability.

"I've got not idea. He never coached me," Bennett said, though Seibold was in the lower grades in the 90s while Bennett coached the first grade Broncos side.

"I don't think I was a mentor of his.

"I didn't see a lot of him, he didn't play in the first-grade squad."

The contract clause Gus Gould hates

Bennett appeared to also take a thinly-veiled swipe at the Broncos over their treatment of half Kodi Nikorima who is set be snapped up mid-season by the NZ Warriors after falling out of favour at Red Hill.

Nikorima will miss Brisbane's clash against South Sydney, a move Bennett said was brave.

"I thought he showed a lot of courage to do that," Bennett said of Nikorima sitting out the game.

"It's easy to go with the flow sometimes. Kodi is someone I had a lot to deal with, particularly his development. I was there for four years with him. I rate him very highly and I'm pleased that he's strong enough to stand up for himself."

Wayne Bennett at Rabbitohs training

On Six Tackles with Gus, Phil Gould predicted that Bennett would relish the added attention from the media in the lead-up to the highly-anticipated game between the Rabbitohs and Broncos at ANZ Stadium.

"[Bennett will be] absolutely loving it. Loving it, but not letting on," Gould said.

"He would be loving the fact that South Sydney are sitting up there and the Broncos are struggling.

"He'll tease the media. He teases and taunts them and directs them, leads them around by the wrist. That's just what he does and he's very very good at it."

Gould said the experience Bennett has gives him an advantage in dealing with the media circus and NRL coaching merry-go-rounds, but there lies a greater challenge for Seibold.

"Wayne Bennett, he's coached against the Broncos many times because he coached the Dragons and coached Newcastle, and win, lose or draw it'll be no skin off his nose. He knows exactly where he's going and that's going to be important for his team in preparation," Gould said.

"If players get a sense that something is about the coach and not about them they can be quite distracted. So Anthony Seibold's challenge is to coach his team and not look for one moment as though he's rattled or even thinking about the fact he's coaching against South Sydney.

"It won't change in any way, shape or form Wayne Bennett's demeanor, whatsoever. There'll be no effect on this South Sydney team."

Wayne Bennett and Kodi Nikorima

Seibold tried to downplay any speculation of a feud in the aftermath of the coach swap though at the time it was unfolding it appeared to cause significant stress to the former Souths coach and his family.

"I don't really know Wayne personally, but I wish him all the best," Seibold said.

"There's no negativity in my mind; what he did at this club is second to none and he's left a legacy wherever he's been.

"It was a strange old time but one thing I've learnt about rugby league is that there's a lot of games played behind the scenes and you don't appreciate that when you're an assistant coach or player.

"But I don't have any negative feelings; we've all moved on."

He also responded to the drama surrounding Nikorima's future at the club.

"Kodi had an option in his favour for 2020, he wanted to see what else was out there," Seibold said.

"As a club we could only guarantee 2020; we wanted to have a look at our options going forward as every club does.

"As I'm sure has been reported the Warriors have offered him a substantial financial deal for four years ... he's taking a couple of days to go through that process."

Young half to make Broncos debut

Teenage sensation Tom Dearden will debut in Nikorima's place against South Sydney.

"It's a club's prerogative, everyone needs to look after themselves," Seibold said.

"[Nikorima has] got a lot to consider; been at this club since he was 12, 13 so it's not a decision that comes lightly for him."

Brisbane have had an up-and-down season with a 2-5 win-loss record thus far. Their win against Cronulla last week would have uplifted the group, but facing the 6-1 Rabbitohs will be a difficult task.

"I think it's a fantastic week, rather than dwell on any negatives or what's happened in the past," Seibold said.

"I'd imagine there's great hype around the game."

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