Kotoni Staggs had his best game of the season. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Kotoni Staggs had his best game of the season. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

Seibold’s sharpest move of the year: 5 things

ON the surface it doesn't seem like much, but one slight switch might be the sharpest move Anthony Seibold has made all season. Here's five things we learned from Brisbane's win over Canterbury.

1) The Broncos are well and truly back in the finals hunt.

Brisbane's top-eight hopes were in tatters six weeks ago but their defeat of the Bulldogs on Thursday night leaves them one win outside the top eight.

Victory over the Titans on Saturday week could catapult them into the playoffs zone. The compression of the competition has worked in their favour.

2) Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs has become a genuine NRL strike-weapon.

In his 25th match, the 20-year-old produced the finest game of his fledgling career, posting his first NRL two-try haul and terrorising the Bulldogs with his pace and footwork.

Switching him to right centre is as good a move as Anthony Seibold has made all year and Staggs should hold his spot once Gehamet Shibasaki returns from injury.

The Broncos are back in the finals hunt. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
The Broncos are back in the finals hunt. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

3) Underfire skipper Darius Boyd answered his critics with a strong display at five-eighth.

He had five tackle busts and his 52nd-minute cut-out pass for Corey Oates' try was a magnificent piece of vision that suggests he has the subtlety to service Brisbane's backline. Anthony Milford still acts as the dominant playmaker - as seen by his work at first receiver for this try - but Boyd has seemingly gotten a shot in the arm from the move.

4) Brisbane's Baby Bronco forwards are developing a harder edge.

There is noticeable improvement in the likes of Payne Haas, Tom Flegler and Tevita Pangai Jr, who produced a superb offload for Jamayne Isaako's try.

Haas is a true marvel and his performances would be impressive at any age, let alone for a 19-year old, while Pangai might have found his home on the right edge.

Special mention must go to Pat Carrigan, who lacks the panache of Haas and Pangai but has become a fine interchange performer, amassing 112 metres with some crucial no-nonsense, midfield charges.

What more can be said about Haas? Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.
What more can be said about Haas? Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.

5) The first female referee in the code's 111-year history, Belinda Sharpe, was flawless in her officiating debut. The Rockhampton product had no problem controlling some of the NRL's biggest names and is a great story for rugby league.