Bunnies assistant slams Seibold in stunning spray

Anthony Seibold is staring down the barrel of becoming Wayne Bennett's NRL "bunny" as Souths assistant Jason Demetriou questioned the Broncos coach's ability to deliver in finals football.

Demetriou has set the scene for an explosive grudge match tomorrow night at Suncorp Stadium, hitting back at former Rabbitohs mentor Seibold by pointing out Souths' capitulation in last year's finals series.

The Bennett-Demetriou combination has proved a potent alliance, with the duo holding an unblemished 3-0 record over Seibold in clashes between the Broncos and Rabbitohs over the past two seasons.

Seibold irked Rabbitohs insiders with his comment last week that "not a lot has changed from an attacking point of view", a reference to him coaching Souths to the top four last season with an up-tempo offence.

But Demetriou returned serve tonight, claiming Bennett has brought more diversity to Souths' attack as he put Seibold's finals record under the microscope.

The Rabbitohs lost an epic qualifying final 29-28 to Melbourne last year before scoring just one try in subsequent finals games against the Dragons (13-12) and Roosters (12-4), who delivered the bullet to Seibold's 2018 campaign.

"Teams worked his style out," Demetriou said.

 

Anthony Seibold at a Rabbitohs training session last season. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Anthony Seibold at a Rabbitohs training session last season. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

 

"Last year, in 160 minutes of football under Seibold in the finals, his Souths team managed one try.

"On the biggest stage in the biggest games, their attack fell down.

"They scored one try against the Dragons and none against the Roosters.

"The teams at the business end of the season shut down any attacking threat Souths had under Seibold.

"They went from the best attacking team in the comp to a team that couldn't score points when it mattered.

"At the end of the day, you are judged on how your team scores points in the biggest games of the year.

"In the finals this year, that's where we will be judged."

Known for his coaching simplicity, Bennett entrusts much of the detailed analysis and formulation of attacking game plans to his offsider Demetriou, whose tactical know-how has clinched four lower-grade titles.

Statistically, the pair have the psychological edge over Seibold.

In his maiden year of NRL coaching at Souths last season, Seibold lost both clashes to Bennett's then Broncos.

Demetriou personally asked Bennett to oversee Brisbane's game plans for both contests against Seibold's Rabbitohs. The Broncos won the first contest 24-20 before thrashing Souths 38-18 in the corresponding Round 23 fixture at Suncorp last year.

Earlier this season, with Seibold and Bennett switching clubs, the super coach prevailed again, with Souths dishing out a 38-6 hiding to the Broncos at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

At Souths, Seibold worked wonders with their left-side attack, but Demetriou believes the Rabbitohs possess more variety this season.

"The suggestion we play the same way is ridiculous," he said.

"The right side is as threatening as our left side this year - we are less predictable.

"We've tried to have a holistic philosophy in attack. We don't want to be left-side dominant like Souths were last year.

"The second thing was giving a licence to Damien Cook to back his ability more and he is now by far the most creative hooker in the NRL.

"Our forwards are twice as threatening as they were last year. We've made significant changes to the team and their style.

"But the reality is we have lost three consecutive games and we need to get some momentum back for the finals.

"This is a game we need to win."

 

 

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Stream BRONCOS v RABBITOHS on KAYO SPORTS. Live & On-Demand on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

News Corp Australia


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