If Anthony Seibold wanted to stir the beast, he’s succeeded, as South Sydney stars fired back at their former coach’s suggestion the club hasn’t moved on from his departure.
South Sydney skipper Sam Burgess has taken a thinly veiled swipe at former coach Anthony Seibold saying “if he has an agenda somewhere, we’ll just get on with it” ahead of Friday’s grudge match.
There is little love lost between the Rabbitohs and the Broncos given the infamous coach swap at the end of last season. Barbs have continued to be traded since Seibold and Wayne Bennett took over Brisbane and South Sydney respectively.
Seibold said “not a lot’s changed from last year” regarding the Rabbitohs attack but Burgess laughed off that suggestion while Adam Reynolds declared his side were “predictable” last year.
“If you want to delve into it and have a little look you make your own mind up if there’s been change or not,” Burgess said. “We had a great attacking structure last year. David Furner was our attack coach and he was very good. We’ve adapted things a bit more.
“100 per cent it’s changed. You see the way we play. All you have to do is look through the stats and the shapes that we are throwing.”
The Rabbitohs attack was criticised for being too easy to read under Seibold. The Roosters had little trouble shutting down South Sydney’s go to side — the left edge — in last year’s preliminary final.
“I find it a bizarre comment,” Burgess said of Seibold’s remarks. “But it’s probably not his only one in the past couple of months, if you know what I mean.
“I don’t know what he’s playing at there. But whatever. If he has an agenda somewhere, we’ll just get on with it.”
Fox Sports Lab statistics show South Sydney scored 46 of their 98 regular season tries last year on the left. They scored just 25 on the right side in 2018.
This year they have scored 27 on the left and 22 on the right.
Rabbitohs No. 7 Reynolds said there was obvious change in the way they play.
“You only have to watch our games now to figure out what’s going on,” Reynolds said. “Look at last year, we were pretty predictable with what we were doing. This year we have lot of variation and different sets.
“I wouldn’t say we’re playing the same way. Our assistant coaches and Wayne have done a great job preparing us and they’ve changed things up. It’s been a breath of fresh air.”
South Sydney hammered Brisbane 38-6 when the two team’s met earlier this year. The Rabbitohs were in the midst of a seven-game winning streak but have slumped in recent weeks to drop out of the top four.
The match hardly needed any extra spice but the return of Broncos discarded duo James Roberts and Jaydn Su’a. Burgess has been named at prop despite battling with a quadriceps injury while his brother Tom is out for a knee injury while Braidon Burns (hamstring) is replaced by Kyle Turner at centre.