NRL coaches are dropping like flies this season, with more carnage set to come

Many are predicting Broncos coach Anthony Seibold will be the fourth coach sacked this season. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Many are predicting Broncos coach Anthony Seibold will be the fourth coach sacked this season. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Another week and another coach bites the dust. That's three in the space of a month and who knows where it will end? There are still 10 rounds to go and the finals. It may not be over yet.

First out the door was Warriors mentor Stephen Kearney, who got his marching orders towards the end of last month, and then it was Dean Pay at the Bulldogs last week with North Queensland premiership-winner Paul Green in charge of the Cowboys last weekend but not anymore.

After having the blowtorch applied just over a month ago, the heat is off Paul McGregor at the Dragons somewhat after a few timely wins but so demanding are the club's fans, who knows when that might change if a few results don't go their way?

And then there is Anthony Seibold, halfway through the second year of a five-year deal at the Brisbane Broncos with many predicting he could be lucky to still be there next week.

It's a tough, tough business. The scrutiny is white hot and the patience in and around footy clubs and their fan base is almost non-existent these days. But sometimes you need the strength of character to hold your nerve if you are a club official when the pressure comes because the results aren't there.

If you trust in your decision to appoint someone to coach your club in the first place or re-sign them to the job, it's a choice that should reflect on you just as heavily as it does the coach himself if things don't go as planned.

Only two seasons ago, Eels fans wanted Brad Arthur's head after Parramatta lost six in a row to start the year and then five in a row mid-season to sit bottom of the ladder.

Things didn't improve, they conceded 108 points in their final three games, to claim the wooden spoon. You can bet your life a fan poll at the time would have voted Brad out. But to their credit, the club stuck solid.

Fast forward 18 months and the Eels are up near the top of the ladder and the club is talking about making Brad the longest-serving coach in Parramatta's history by offering him an extension.

Clubs are never always going to get it right with coaching appointments and in the case of Green at the Cowboys, there was probably a mutual position taken there that he had run a very good race over a long period but a change was needed for the benefit of both parties which is fair enough.

But changing coaches is never the be-all-and-end-all for under-performing clubs with underlying issues. It's just the easiest option for officials who are struggling to handle the heat themselves.

Nice try Maroons

Speaking of not handling the heat, you can only laugh at attempts this week by the Maroons hierarchy to try and prevent the Blues from hosting two of the three Origin games in Sydney at the end of the year.

The first game of the series was supposed to be played in Adelaide but when Origin was pushed back to the end of the season, Adelaide Oval was ruled out because of the T20 cricket World Cup.

Maroons officials are now claiming with the T20 off, we should be going back to Adelaide for the opener with one game in Sydney and the other in Brisbane.

Nice try boys. They seem to forget borders are still closed and there is no guarantee what the scenario is going to look like by then.

Clearly, the pressure of potentially losing three series in a row has them a little on edge.

Round 11 Predictions


I don't think there will be a lot in this but with some big names back including Mitchell Moses, I think the Eels will rebound from last weekend's hiccup against Manly to win this one at home. This is a game where the Tigers have an opportunity to make a real statement about themselves but I'm not convinced they are good enough to deliver.


Manly will have taken confidence out of their Eels win and will have prop Addin Fonua-Blake back. I can just see them grinding out another win here in a low-scoring affair.


The Storm will win comfortably enough but if Brisbane have a decent crack, which surely they will after last weekend's debacle against the Tigers, I'm not expecting them to get blown off the park as some people are predicting.


The Roosters just win here. I'm fearful for where the Warriors are at and with players going home after this game, what sort of frame of mind the team is going to be in.


I think the Dragons have found some belief and will win the local derby. The Sharks used to be great at grinding out wins but I've got a feeling they are not that type of side anymore so if the Dragons defence can frustrate them, they will unravel.


The Raiders were fantastic in taking down the Roosters last week with hooker Tom Starling really impressing me, and provided they don't come out flat in this one, should be too strong for a Rabbitohs side without some stars and making too many errors.


They are not playing brilliantly but there is a real toughness about the Knights and this is a game at home they simply must win if they are to feature in the top four at season's end.


I can't heap enough praise on Nathan Cleary - he single-handedly got the Panthers home last weekend and he'll lead them to another win here.

This story Three NRL coaches axed already, who's next? first appeared on The Canberra Times.