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The great NRL coach-off

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Roar Rookie
7th January, 2019
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1018 Reads

It’s a scenario made for reality TV: take a veteran coach who’s won everything, wrest control of a football side from his fingers and transplant him to a new location. Then, take a young, up-and-coming coach and parachute him in the opposite direction.

See the younger man deal with the scorched remains; tune in to watch the master squeeze every bit of potential from his charges.

Coach Swap, coming to you in 2019, live from Redfern and Red Hill.

It’s so juicy it feels manufactured, but this is the world we live in.

Have we ever seen an experiment like this before? It presents a direct coach-off, a demonstration of who’s got the strongest chops.

Anthony Seibold has taken over a Broncos side pretty much the same as last year, while Wayne Bennett is working with basically the same group of Bunnies from 2018.

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How will each coach use similar ingredients as their predecessor? What dish will they make?

Will Bennett continue to play the up-tempo brand of Souths 2018 or will he put his own stamp on things? Will Seibold bring the same systems of play up north?

We’ve already heard fascinating differences between approaches to pre-season, including Broncos players being pleasantly surprised at the presence of footballs in December – they even had a DJ pumping out tunes in between efforts. Not in Wayne’s world, where pre-season is about getting flogged, finding that strong inner-self, and then flogging that inner-self again.

In a lot of ways, it could be that each coach is exactly what their club needs right now: fresh ideas to complement a young group of Broncos coming through, a master man-manager who will back his players to the hilt.

In 2018, Souths finished third and Brisbane sixth. In this season of Coach Swap, I’m predicting an inversion of results: Broncos third and Rabbitohs sixth.