Broncos coach Anthony Seibold (centre) is seen during Brisbane Broncos training session at Clive Berghofer Field in Brisbane, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The Broncos are playing the North Queensland Cowboys in their round 1 NRL match. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold (centre) is seen during Brisbane Broncos training session at Clive Berghofer Field in Brisbane, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The Broncos are playing the North Queensland Cowboys in their round 1 NRL match. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING

Broncos put faith in game’s leaders

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has backed the ARL Commission's plans to continue the NRL premiership despite a host of other sports putting their seasons on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Broncos will run out before 52,000 empty seats at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night against South Sydney and there are fears the NRL premiership will barely see out round two this weekend before the government applies pressure to suspend the 2020 season.

Seibold says the first priority is the health of all Australians but hopes the NRL season can fight on amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

 

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"Internally here we want to keep playing," Seibold said.

"The guys don't want the games called off that's for sure.

"People's health is the first priority, I'm certainly guided by the health authorities, and if the government think it's no longer safe to play games, then we shouldn't be doing that.

"But at the moment we haven't had that directive. It's unprecedented times we are in, there are different businesses doing it tough. The least we can do is prepare the best we can and play footy on Friday night."

Seibold admits it will be challenging for all NRL players to play in front of empty stadiums this weekend.

"It certainly is unprecedented," he said.

Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold says his team is ready for footy on Friday night. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold says his team is ready for footy on Friday night. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
 

"The players have been really focused this week. There has been a bit of talk about the competition and is it going to go ahead, but they are a really focused group. It will be unusual on Friday night without crowds. It is certainly unprecedented in my lifetime and something that we just need to be guided by the government and the game's leaders.

"It is bizarre, but I believe in the game and the leaders in the game and the direction the government is taking the country.

"All we can do for the members and supporters of rugby league is prepare the best we can and give as good a performance as we can. It's tough times for the country. Watching a game of footy on Friday night when things are tough at work or home in society, it's something we are looking forward to, is putting a smile on some peoples' faces.

 

Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold with suspended player Tevita Pangai Jr. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold with suspended player Tevita Pangai Jr. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

 

"You are accountable to your job. We train in front of no-one most days and you are accountable to your teammates and your job on Friday night."

Seibold said the Broncos are doing everything possible to avoid a player testing positive for coronavirus.

"It's really difficult to control, but internally we have isolated level one and level two (in their building) to the key staff," he said.

"We aren't allowing visitors in, I wouldn't call it lockdown, we aren't in white overalls, but the players understand the importance of washing their hands. Level one and two is our venue only.

"It's about being smart away from here as well. You need to live your life, you need to go the shops and get petrol for your car but it's just being sensible."

 

Originally published as Brisbane Broncos to play in front of 52,000 empty seats