Jack Bird (left) with Wayne Bennett last year. Picture: AAP
Jack Bird (left) with Wayne Bennett last year. Picture: AAP

Wayne’s gone but not forgotten at Broncos

Broncos players say they "loved'' Wayne Bennett, far from being dragged into the tumultuous split between the veteran coach and their club's management ahead of Thursday's showdown with South Sydney.

Corey Oates and Jack Bird said there is no bad blood between the Broncos players and Bennett over the way the coach-swap with Souths played out late last year.

Reporting out of Sydney was over the summer that some Rabbitohs players were aggrieved that Seibold initially wanted to coach Brisbane in 2020 rather than try to win a premiership with Souths after making the preliminary final in his first season.

Whatever played out behind the scenes at Red Hill and Redfern in the final days before Bennett's sacking last December, he had a contract to coach Brisbane in 2019 and had said repeatedly that he wanted to serve that contract out.

"Everyone is going to be talking about Wayne and all the stuff that went down, but he's moved on and we have a new coach,'' Oates said.

"We have to focus on our game and how we are going to stop them.

"The quick (five-day) turnaround will be good for us. It's not too (long) to think about.''

Bird said "all the players loved Wayne''.

"Half the players came here to play under Wayne and looked up to Wayne as a player and as a coach,'' Bird said.

"Now we have Seibs as coach and we are happy to have Seibs on board.''

Seibold encouraged Anthony Milford to accept ownership of the Broncos attack after one of the playmaker's most controlled matches with his game management.

Milford, who managed three line dropouts with well weighted short kicking, had two try assists and two line break assists.

"We are seven weeks in - it's his team in attack,'' Seibold said.

"Sometimes when things work for a key playmaker, they will sometimes go away from it. His kick selection and execution was outstanding. He didn't go away from it.''

Corey Oates was close to Wayne Bennett. Picture: AAP
Corey Oates was close to Wayne Bennett. Picture: AAP

Brisbane missed only 16 tackles in their 29-6 win over the injury-hit Cronulla, 13 fewer than their season average, which had been the worst in the NRL after six rounds.

"The big improvement was our defence,'' Seibold said.

"I thought all three of our starting middles (Matt Lodge, Tevita Pangai Jnr and Payne Haas) were very good. We looked better in attack because we created momentum.

"It feels like pressure comes off. But our next job starts pretty quickly.''

Brisbane completed 17 of their first 18 sets in building a 20-0 lead after 31 minutes and skipper Darius Boyd said the game could become "fun'' when playing with such control.

"We have to complete and make our tackles against Souths,'' he said.

Souths beat Penrith 22-18 on Friday with only 44 per cent of possession but missed only 23 tackles.

"They are going great. That (six wins) are a few more than us,'' Oates said after Brisbane's second win of 2019.

"To get the win is a relief for all of us. We can take a lot of confidence out of it.''

Oates (shoulder) and Pangai (finger in an eye) should be fit to play ion Thursday.