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Fear and loathing in Bris-Vegas: Broncos the NRL’s great underachievers

This will hardly come as breaking news to rival clubs and their fans but the Brisbane Broncos are th..

By Sunday Herald Team , in Sports , at April 8, 2019

This will hardly come as breaking news to rival clubs and their fans but the Brisbane Broncos are the greatest underachievers in rugby league.

Its certainly not breaking news to Broncos great and current director Darren Lockyer, who doesnt require much prodding on the subject.

Long time between drinks: Wayne Bennett and Darren Lockyer combined to win the comp in 2006.

Long time between drinks: Wayne Bennett and Darren Lockyer combined to win the comp in 2006.Credit:Craig Golding

“Were the most profitable club, were in a one-team market, weve got strong juniors,” Lockyer said. “Our history shows that we won six premierships in our first 18 years and we havent won since then. We havent won for more than a decade, since 2006. Throw all that into the basket and it puts a lot of pressure on the place.”

Its hard to not like or admire Lockyer. He speaks his mind and he speaks it honestly. He doesnt shy away from sensitive issues in his capacity as a Broncos director. He talked publicly about his fallout with Wayne Bennett before anyone else did. While others snipe, you get what you see with Lockyer.

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Several of Lockyers former teammates, with whom he dug a very deep well of success in the 1990s and beyond, are doing plenty of sniping after Lockyer and his board signed rookie coach Anthony Seibold — and not Kevin Walters, another former teammate — to replace Bennett this season.

Some say Walters was promised the job when Bennett left the building. Lockyer has denied he ever gave such assurances, although its possible others might have. Some claim that Walters promised a few jobs to some former teammates if he ever got the Broncos job so its little wonder they are angry he didnt get it.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.Credit:AAP

Regardless, the decision to overlook Walters for Seibold has caused significant fractures at a club that should be building dynasties like theyre the New England Patriots instead of bickering like they're, well, Parramatta.

Following Thursday nights heavy loss to the Roosters, The Courier-Mail went into a DEFCON-3 panic about the one-and-three start to the season. Broncos and Maroons legends were hunted down and they called the performance “unacceptable”, “abysmal” and “disgraceful” along with other adjectives.

On Sunday on Triple M, former Broncos hardman Gorden Tallis went to DEFCON-1.

Former Bronco Gorden Tallis.

Former Bronco Gorden Tallis.Credit:AAP

“They have a $27 million facility and they all sit there drinking coffees and then they walk around the town like they own the place,” Tallis said of the current bunch of players. “They own nothing. Theyve won nothing … thats not the club I played for. There were winners there.”

Hes right. Some of the current Broncos appear to be the entitled rich kids in the playground who have the most expensive toys but dont know how to use them.

They appear to be the old Parramatta, the Western Sydney powerhouse with the cashed-up leagues club and the deep pool of local juniors but losing matches on the field while a stack of ex-players lob hand grenades from outside the fence.

How do the Broncos, a publicly owned club that turns over more than $50 million a year, that has the backing of media giant News Corp, that counts Lachlan Murdoch as its No.1 fan boy, that has almost every young footballer in Queensland wanting to play for the them before their own country, that tosses around third-party agreements like confetti, achieve so little?

Since 2006, the Broncos have made one grand final (in 2015) and finished in the top four only three times (in 2011, 2015 and 2017).

In 2008, there was a belief internally that something had to change because six premierships (if you include the 1997 Super League title) weren't enough for a club of such strength. Bennett was edged out … and two years later won a comp with the Dragons.

In 2011, when he was trying to rebuild Penrith, Phil Gould visited the Broncos to see how the games most profitable and powerful club did business.

Of everything he saw over those few days, what astounded him the most was something as simple as the clubs pre-match function. The Panthers could draw and cater for no more than 300 or so people on game-day. The Broncos, back then, were drawing 3000 and for 20 times the price.

As it stands today, the Broncos have the most members of any club, about 32,000. They haRead More – Source

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