Brisbane Broncos Anthony Seibold says coaches must play role in battle against ‘dead time’

“The idea is that we want more ball in play. Last year, I think the average ball in play was about 53 minutes. So there’s been a drop of about three or four minutes over the last couple of seasons,” Seibold said.

“Super Rugby is about 35 minutes or something like that, so one of the reasons people enjoy watching rugby league is because the ball is in play for a lot longer.

“We don’t want to keep decreasing that. If the referees can be subjective at times and let the game flow, that would be ideal. I think we (coaches) have a responsibility as well to make sure the game flows and the game is attractive to people coming to the game or watching on TV.”

Fans love the idea of attractive football but they love winning even better, so not all coaches will be going out of their way to have their team flinging it from side-to-side if it’s counter-productive to their chances of success.

Seibold has somewhat of a vested interest in the concept because his Broncos side stands to be one of the main beneficiaries of any philosophical change in the way matches are officiated.

He boasts a youthful forward pack that has trained all summer to do everything in fast forward once they are finally unleashed against the Storm on Thursday night. The longer the arm wrestles continue, he said, the better.


“I’d like to see the ball in play. We’ve trained here for the ball in play to be extended out this year, whether that’s total or what we call an arm wrestle… we’d love to see longer arm wrestles.

“I think the longest arm wrestle last year was about eight minutes 30 seconds. We’ve trained to have the ball in play for longer.”

Seibold held court pre-match for the first time as Broncos coach on Wednesday morning, saying he felt no pressure to have instant success with Brisbane in round one and was had learned at Souths to view the season in the long-term.

“We feel as though we’ve prepared as best we can. We go in with confidence, I’m a big believer that what you do in training transfers to game day. There’s no excuses from our end,” Seibold said.

“One thing I learned last year is that regardless of the result on Thursday night, it’s not going to have any impact on what we do or where we go next. Once we’ve played about eight or 10 games we’ll know where we really stand as a team.”

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