NRL BRONCOS TITANS
Alarming numbers from Brisbane's horror start to the NRL season show why the spotlight will remain on coach Anthony Seibold all week.
Figures on Sunday revealed that Brisbane are off to their worst ever defensive start to a season, with their discipline on the field the poorest in the NRL.
Their 15th position on the ladder after seven games is also their worst this far into a season in 13 years, as they desperately seek to rebound after five straight losses.
The last time they were ranked lower was way back in 1999, when they were last between rounds nine and 11.
Saturday night's 30-12 defeat to the Gold Coast was also a new low point for the club, booed off by their invited members at halftime.
Their woeful weekend was made even worse on Sunday, with forward Joe Ofahengaue facing a three-game ban for a shoulder charge.
Brisbane chairman Karl Morris on Sunday gave Seibold assurances as coach, promising the club were in for the long haul with him.
Seibold is just a year and a half into a five-year deal at the club, brought in at the end of 2018 to replace Wayne Bennett.
But there reasons he is already feeling the heat.
The Broncos' 209 points conceded is the worst after seven rounds in the club's 33-year existence.
And 170 of those points have come in the past five games since the competition restart.
In that time they have scored just 42 points.
Ofahengaue's charge is meanwhile symptomatic of their season.
They have been the most ill-disciplined team in the competition, conceding 7.7 penalties per game.
They have now had eight players charged over the opening seven rounds, including Corey Oates who faces a fine for abusing referee Peter Gough on Saturday night.
That total of charges is the highest of any club in the NRL this year.
If Ofahengaue takes his early guilty plea it will mean Broncos players have already missed nine games this year through on-field bans.
That figure does not include the two weeks Ofahengaue missed at the start of the season due to an off-field incident.
Broncos legend Gorden Tallis on Sunday claimed key young players like Payne Haas had "gone backwards" in 2020.
"The way they are playing, it doesn't just seem like they are defending for each other," Tallis told Triple M.
"The team is separated.
"At some stage they're not playing for each other. That's the coach's job, to get these guys as one unit.
"And at the moment, they're not."
Seibold on Saturday night stressed that he was not looking over his shoulder worrying about his job.
It came after he addressed the Broncos board on Friday to detail his plans for a recovery in what the Brisbane mentor dismissed as a regulation scheduled meeting.
He also reminded critics that his team recovered from a 2-5 start to last season to make the finals.
"I'm working as hard as I can. I'll get up and go in the morning," he said.
"I think I'm the right person to try and bring this group through.
"If the board thinks otherwise ... then they'll tell me."