Tallis backs battling Broncos to play finals footy
BRISBANE legend Gorden Tallis says the prospect of the Broncos missing the finals is "unacceptable" and has challenged besieged Broncos coach Anthony Seibold to get tougher on his misfiring players.
Tallis was in Brisbane on Tuesday to promote the NRL's Magic Round but the former Broncos skipper isn't sure whether Seibold can dig into his bag of coaching tricks to break the club's 13-year premiership drought.
The Broncos enter Friday night's clash against Manly languishing in 13th place with a 2-6 record, raising questions about Brisbane hierarchy's decision to sack Wayne Bennett and hand Seibold a five-year contract.
It is a measure of Brisbane's status as an NRL powerhouse that they have missed the finals just twice in the past 26 seasons. Tallis believes the Brisbane still have enough time this season to qualify for the finals and says the sight of the Broncos in the playoffs is non-negotiable.
"The benchmark for the Broncos is finals," said Tallis, a Broncos premiership-winning icon.
"That club has to play finals - simple as that.
"The competition has gotten a lot tighter than it has in the past, but they certainly have to play finals. Andrew Johns (NRL Immortal) and Phil Gould (two-time premiership-winning coach) thought this (Brisbane) roster was good enough to win the competition.
"They have seven Origin players and internationals. We had 10 rep players when I played at the Broncos so they aren't far behind.
"They should make the finals and I think they will. They just need to get a roll on and win.
"I was in the worst starting Broncos side (in 1999), we had won one from 10, but then we won 11 in a row.
"I won't write them off yet but they need to find something and that's something Anthony Seibold has to go looking for."
Asked if Brisbane's five-year term for Seibold was too long, Tallis said: "It is in the modern game.
"It just depends on what your clubs needs at the time and who you believe you will put faith in.
"It's a tough road for 'Seibs'. He's a really good guy and a good coach, but he has walked into a bee-hive at the Broncos ... following Wayne (Bennett) anyway.
"Wayne is the greatest coach, he handles the media and the players.
"The great thing when you are coached by Wayne is you only have to worry about your form because he keeps the pressure off you.
"Seibs is probably a bit naive and young to do that, if he had coached 800 games like Wayne he could handle it, but will he get to 800?"
Tallis said "time well tell" if Seibold can deliver Brisbane's seventh premiership and urged him to stop defending his out-of-form stars.
"The coach is only as good as his players," he said. "If I was a coach now, I would make the players more accountable.
"Craig Bellamy (Storm coach) after his second loss said, 'I will make changes and they (players) will be accountable' instead of (Seibold) running out stats and saying we were good at this and good at that and protecting them.
"One thing I didn't like as a player was having your name in the paper that I'm not playing good."