Newcastle may fear Brisbane more than rugby union when it comes to retaining Kalyn Ponga but Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold admits the Broncos cannot afford the NRL superstar.
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has given Jason Demetriou a mighty serve for questioning his NRL finals record, suggesting the South Sydney assistant may be “dirty” after missing out on the Broncos’ head coach gig.
The stage appeared set for Seibold and Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett to trade barbs ahead of Friday night’s NRL grudge match after their messy job swap last year.
But it was Demetriou who lobbed the grenades for Souths, taking aim at the Rabbitohs’ failed finals campaign under Seibold last year.
Demetriou said rival teams had worked Seibold’s style out in his rookie year as an NRL coach in 2018, resulting in South Sydney crashing out in last year’s preliminary final and scoring just one try in their last two finals appearances.
Seibold wasn’t impressed when that was raised on Thursday, hinting Demetriou was jealous that he hadn’t been promoted to the Broncos’ head coaching job when Bennett left for South Sydney.
Demetriou was believed to be in the Broncos head coach mix after serving as deputy to Bennett at Red Hill but Brisbane instead opted for Seibold.
Demetriou eventually followed Bennett to the Rabbitohs.
“One thing I learned a long time ago is as an assistant coach you put your head down, bum up and work hard. You don’t need to promote yourself,” Seibold said.
“I am not sure whether he is dirty that his name hasn’t come up for a couple of head coaching roles recently.
“I think he has bigger problems than having a look at my finals record.”
Asked if he had a history with Demetriou, Seibold said: “I don’t know him from a bar of soap.
“(But) I don’t think Jason Demetriou throwing some stats out is mind games.
“He has obviously forgotten a few things and that is probably why he is not a head coach at the moment – his attention to detail is obviously a little bit off.
“I can’t believe we are standing here talking about Jason Demetriou leading up to a Broncos v South Sydney game.”
Seibold was happier speaking about Brisbane who sit seventh after suffering just one loss in their last seven games.
They take on a South Sydney outfit that has fallen out of the top four for the first time after suffering three straight losses.
Seibold still couldn’t help have another chip at Demetriou when asked if Brisbane were after payback following their round eight 38-6 hammering from South Sydney this year.
“They outplayed us. They were far too good for us, you can’t hide behind that fact – maybe Jason was coaching that week I am not sure,” he said.