Brisbane playmaker Tyson Gamble has taken a veiled swipe at Kevin Walters after admitting that it's star player Adam Reynolds, rather than the Broncos coach, who the players turn to for guidance at the club.
Walters' position has come under fire in recent weeks after a horror late season collapse that leaves the Broncos in serious danger of missing out on the finals.
'DISGRACE': Phil Gould lashes out over NRL 'embarrassment'
The Broncos currently sit one place outside of finals contention in ninth, equal on points with Canberra but with a considerably inferior for-and-against.
With the Raiders playing the bottom-of-the-table Wests Tigers in their final match of the regular season on Sunday, Brisbane are expected to fall short despite sitting in fourth spot on the ladder several weeks ago.
Compounding the Brisbane club's misery will be comments from out of contract star Gamble, who credited veteran halfback Adam Reynolds as being the "mastermind" behind Brisbane's transformation this season.
“Kev’s the coach but Reyno is the go-to man for everybody. If you’ve got a question about the team or footy, you go to him,” Gamble said on the Marshie’s Corner podcast.
“It’s not a knock on Kev but ‘Reyno’ has been around for so long.
“Kevvie really understands footy and he’s a good bloke in getting the team up and about but the modern day is so different to the way Kevvie played footy.
“There are some similarities with how you have to be with attitude and stuff, but Reyno is the mastermind around our attack at the moment.”
Interesting from Tyson Gamble re the coaching at Brisbane.. pic.twitter.com/0BbCCglRa6
— They gave me the Penske file (@Luke_Pownall) August 31, 2022
According to the Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio, the comments have "gone down like a lead balloon" at the Brisbane club.
“This is the final round of the season for them if they can’t secure a finals berth and one of their key playmakers is making comments that it isn’t Kevin Walters who is the mastermind.
“They are stunning comments to make and it’s gone down like a lead balloon.”
Broncos face must-win clash against Dragons
Curiously, Gamble has been recalled to the Brisbane side for their must-win clash away to the Dragons on Saturday.
Only victory will realistically be enough for Walters' side to secure a finals berth, barring a catastrophic loss for the Raiders against the Tigers.
The Raiders boast a points differential advantage of 43 over the Broncos, who have lost four of their last five matches since sitting in fourth spot at round 19.
Brisbane's form slump has understandably seen contract extension talks for Walters put on hold.
The Broncos coach will be desperate to see a response from his side after he gave them a brutal dressing down, in the wake of last week's 53-6 mauling by Parramatta.
Footage captured the Origin great in a furious rant at his players after the full-time whistle.
The Broncos looked dejected after conceding a combined 113 points and scoring just 18 in their last two games.
Walters was candid after the match and said he couldn't pinpoint why the team's performance had dropped off only weeks out from the finals.
"It was terrible. We didn't start very well and finished poorly as well," Broncos coach Walters said of the display.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.