Rugby league legend Peter Sterling has rubbished suggestions that player-led training sessions at the Brisbane Broncos are a sign coach Anthony Seibold has lost the dressing room.
News that the players had taken charge of last week’s training sessions ignited the NRL rumour mill, with the Broncos at crisis point and staring down the barrel of a seventh straight defeat since the COVID-19 enforced break.
A team golf session kick-started the week while players elected to sit out of Friday’s captain’s run in favour of stretching or an ice bath.
According to the Broncos, it was a move intended to have the roster engage with their development and bring some fun to the week. Considering the club’s woes, some were more sceptical.
But with the pressure valve at Red Hill now somewhat released thanks to a vital win over the Bulldogs, it seems the move may have been a stroke of genius, and one that Sterling says was misinterpreted as a sign of disillusion among the Broncos’ playing ranks.
“All the talk about the players having more of a responsibility in the lead up to the game, I think it was overblown,” Sterling told Wide World of Sports’, Sterlo’s Wrap.
“When we listened to Anthony Seibold explain what it was, he was still in complete control.
“The circumstances are it’s not a bad thing to have players more invested in what they are doing. I think it is [good coaching].
“The final session is known as the captain’s run, the players run that anyway. So, I don’t know if there was too much outside of that the Broncos had in preparation going into this game, but it worked quite well.
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“The way the players talked about it was something they enjoyed and engaged in.”
Asked whether he thought “the players had grabbed control of the coach and have now won a game,” Sterling was firm.
“[I’m] Absolutely [dismissing that],” he said. “That didn’t happen.
“If you listen to Anthony Seibold, he was very strong on the sessions he needed to be in control of, and he just gave a little more latitude to the players in different areas.
“It worked, they were looking for something different. I’m not sure if that was the thing that got them over the line but it certainly didn’t hurt them.”