Fed-up South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold has fired back at speculation over his future, expressing his disappointment with the coverage of the coaching merry-go-round in an impassioned statement after full time.
Seibold has been linked with a move to the Broncos in 2020, however the Rabbitohs coach has denied any interest from Brisbane despite putting on hold discussions around a contract extension with South Sydney until after the season.
The rumour mill has been in over-drive since the sacking of Penrith coach Anthony Griffin 10 days ago, with Wayne Bennett’s tenure at the Broncos one of the hottest topics.
Following the Rabbitohs’ 38-18 loss to Brisbane on Thursday night, Seibold walked into the press conference clearly frustrated with his team’s sub-standard performance and also the constant chatter over his future and a potential return to the Broncos.
"Before I take any questions I just want to make a statement," he said.
"It's been a circus the last week in regards to speculation around my coaching career. Individually I'm really disappointed. I've been very open with the media and some of the things that have been said in the media are just not true.
"I'm not going to answer any questions about the Broncos. I'm not going to answer any speculation about my coaching career. I'm contracted here to the Rabbitohs for the next 15 months."
At kick-off Michael Maguire was the next coach of the Brisbane Broncos.
At half time Bennett was holding on to his job. At the 55-minute mark Seibold was back as the leading contender to replace the wily coach at Red Hill.
By full-time you were left with a headache trying to work out how the pieces will fall in the coming months.
Rabbitohs stand-in skipper Sam Burgess was asked if the talk around the coach’s future was a distraction for the Bunnies, but he was having none of it either.
"I'm on the same page as Seebs," Burgess said.
"I won't be making any comment about it. I think everyone has their own agenda. We can all clearly see that. I stand by what he says. He's our leader and we'll all follow him. We won't be making any comment on that."
While Seibold didn't want to talk about his future, talk about the game did little to cheer him up.
"What did you think?" he asked the journalist who posed the first question.
"Poor." was the response.
"Yeah. Really poor," Seibold said.
"You can't go down 18-0 against a quality side. We knew the Broncos were going to be at their very best tonight and they were. We got what we deserved. You get what you deserve in this game and we got what we deserve.
"We've been pretty good the last couple of weeks as far as competing really strongly. Against the Roosters we had plenty of effort there. I thought we were very good against the Storm.
"But we lacked effort tonight, individually and collectively as a group. And when you're down a little bit on quality you need to win the effort battles and I don't think we did that tonight.”
The Rabbitohs are hopeful of having skipper Greg Inglis and Campbell Graham back from injury next week against the Raiders, however there is a question mark over the fitness of halfback Adam Reynolds after he picked up an elbow injury in the loss.
"I think he is okay he was just a bit bumped around," Seibold said.
"He had a fair bit of ice on him in there Renno. We’ll assess him tomorrow morning. We'll have medicals before we fly back to Sydney and we're hopeful Renno will be fine."