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‘It's not personal’ (hint: it’s personal)

Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold (Mark Kolbe/Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Editor
1st May, 2019
5

The South Sydney Rabbitohs and Brisbane Broncos are set to face off in Round 8 of the NRL season for the first time since the clubs swapped coaches at the end of the 2018 season.

Wayne Bennett was replaced by Anthony Seibold at the Broncos late last year and ultimately took Seibold’s place at the Rabbitohs, completing a highly unusual coach swap that followed weeks of media speculation, testy press conferences, secretive phone calls and confusion among fans.

Roar rugby league expert Mary Konstantopoulos joined us on the latest episode of the Game of Codes podcast to discuss the highly anticipated clash between the two sides, which both coaches are claiming is nothing more than another round of footy.

Listen to the discussion:

These men are professionals. There is no doubt they’ll be 100 per cent focused on their respective jobs when the whistle blows. They won’t let anything cloud their judgement.

Bennett delights in toying with the media. Seibold despises the relentless questions about off-field drama. But neither coach can ignore their history with the other, whether they like it or not. Make no mistake, in a small part of each coach’s brain, there will be a voice screaming at them to win this game just to stick it to ‘em.

When the match is over, one coach will inevitably savour the result a little more than usual. The other will disguise their bruised ego behind the usual disappointment of a loss.

The contrasting status of each team only adds to what’s at stake: South Sydney have started the season with six wins from seven games under the guidance of Bennett, while Seibold’s men have only managed two.

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