Smith: Seibold can end Broncos’ wait
Melbourne champion Cameron Smith says Anthony Seibold will bring the premiership glory days back to the Broncos, likening his tactical style to that of Storm super coach Craig Bellamy.
On the eve of Thursday night's season-opening Broncos-Storm blockbuster, Smith backed Brisbane's appointment of Seibold, declaring the rookie coach can take Queensland's flagship club to the title in his maiden year at Red Hill.
The Broncos held secret talks with Bellamy last season, and while the premiership-winning Storm coach ultimately stayed loyal to Melbourne, Smith believes Brisbane have signed the next best thing in Seibold.
The 44-year-old spent three seasons at the Storm, two as Bellamy's assistant coach in 2014-15.
Storm skipper Smith was so impressed by Seibold's tactical guile and man management he backed Kevin Walters' decision to hire him as the Queensland Origin team's assistant in 2016-17.
Seibold played a key role in the Maroons' consecutive series triumphs under Walters and Smith believes his apprenticeship under Bellamy has taught the new Broncos coach what it takes to deliver Brisbane's first title since 2006.
Former Queensland skipper Smith, the most-capped top-liner in NRL history who plays his 385th game on Thursday, says Seibold possesses a Bellamy-style instinct to transform his players.
"Having coached under Craig Bellamy for several years, 'Seibs' will bring a lot of structure to the Broncos," Smith said.
"That will help their young halves (Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima) in particular. He will just help to take a bit of pressure off those guys to try and steer the Broncos around the park.
"With more structure in their attack it will help Nikorima and Milford a lot.
"They are a good side, they have been for a long time."
Smith was an inexperienced 23-year-old captain when the Broncos won their most recent premiership, breaking Melbourne's hearts in the 2006 decider.
Now Seibold is tasked with breaking the longest premiership drought in Brisbane's 31-year history, and Smith believes the Rockhampton product can engineer the club's seventh title.
"I think they are a real premiership threat this year," Smith said.
"There's been talk for the last couple of years about the quality of juniors the Broncos have brought through and how talented they are.
"Every season I've played the Broncos, I don't think they haven't been a threat for the title, especially (now) with Seibs there.
"He showed what he could do at Souths, he was there 12 months and they had an outstanding year (last season). They just fell short of playing in the grand final.
"This is the first time in Melbourne's history that we have opened the season, so we're all pumped about this game."
Queensland Origin halfback Daly Cherry-Evans worked with Seibold at Manly in 2016 and insists he is not a one-season wonder.
"I rate Anthony Seibold as a coach," he said.
"I had one season with him at Manly and while he is a fantastic bloke, more importantly he is an extremely educated person when it comes to rugby league.
"He made a real impact at Manly. He built a really strong relationship with me and that helped my form. I got a lot out of working with him.
"I don't think it was a fluke what he did at Souths last year. He has had some great squads in the past few seasons at Souths and the Broncos this year, but as we all know in rugby league, it's not just the ability of the squad, it's the coach's ability to bring a squad together.
"Anthony did a great job at Souths and I'm backing him to bring his group at the Broncos together."