The South Sydney Rabbitohs reportedly warned the Brisbane Broncos about Anthony Seibold’s susceptibility to criticism before he replaced Wayne Bennett as head coach in 2018.
After winning Dally M Coach of the Year during his maiden season as an NRL coach, Seibold was picked up by the Broncos in a messy switch with Bennett.
According to The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Crawley, Rabbitohs officials spoke to the Broncos about the 45-year-old’s strengths and weaknesses, identifying his concerning reaction to scrutiny. The discussion reportedly occurred after the swap with Bennett was in full motion.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
As detailed in The Courier-Mail, the shadow of Bennett lingered at Red Hill, making Seibold “somewhat paranoid”. He was intent on eradicating any reference to the veteran coach and removed Bennett-scripted slogans from the gym.
Seibold was also reluctant to budge on his methodology — according to NRL.com, several Broncos players claimed their coach repeatedly ignored advice, determined his strategies would eventually come together.
Less than two years into his mammoth five-year contract with Brisbane, Seibold stepped down as head coach on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, the Queenslander revealed the moment he realised it was the right time to part ways with the struggling club.
“I think the final straw was hopping back on a plane from Sydney when I wanted to be with my daughter,” Seibold said.
“Right now I want to spend more time with my family as they’ve made enormous sacrifices in recent times.
“People ask me if there are things I would do different over the last two years, but none of that matters right now.
“I gave my best to the Broncos, but ultimately I am responsible for where we are currently at.”
Over the past few weeks, additional off-field dramas have plagued Seibold, including salacious online rumours and his intentional breaking of the league’s biosecurity protocols to attend to a family matter.
Earlier this month, the former Brisbane Broncos coach hired legal representation and cybersecurity experts to trace the source of the social media attacks. The Australian reported he had handed a list of names linked to the smear campaign to the NRL.
The report claimed at least one “well-known figure” was seeking legal advice after being identified while Seibold’s lawyer Dave Garratt has previously said a “prominent name” was involved.
However, when Nine News journalist Danny Weidler put the name of an “NRL identity” to Seibold — the wife of a person with links to the Broncos — he rejected the claim.