Broncos coach in pub bust-up with club legend

Life doesn’t seem to be getting any better for the Broncos in 2021.

After claiming the wooden spoon for the first time in club history last year, it was hoped the instalment of favourite son Kevin Walters as coach would bring with it a change of fortunes.

But the signs aren’t great for Brisbane as the revelation of a coach’s bust-up in a pub with a club legend adds to the side’s off-season of woe.

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The Courier Mail reports assistant coach John Cartwright, who Walters brought to the club, was involved in an altercation with Broncos great, and chairman of the Broncos Old Boys club, Chris Johns.

Johns told the publication he got into a “bit of a wrestle” with Cartwright at the Caxton Hotel after a disagreement about the achievements of the Broncos and the Panthers, who Cartwright played for.

Johns said Cartwright “got the s***s” and told him: “Don’t start bagging my old club.”

Walters denied any knowledge of the incident and told The Courier Mail he would not be following up the matter with Cartwright.

Former Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, who was sacked last year less than two seasons into a five-year deal, copped plenty of criticism for a growing disconnect between the Broncos and their Old Boys, with suggestions former players had been shut out of the club.

Walters vowed to re-establish that connection and improve the club’s culture, but he has a long road ahead of him.

Cartwright (left) has a tough job getting the Broncos back up to standard.Source:News Corp Australia

Payne Haas was reportedly being considered for the captaincy this season but ruled himself out when he pleaded guilty to intimidating police with a foul-mouthed tirade on the NSW far north coast in January.

The NRL slapped the front-rower with a $50,000 fine and three-match ban, CEO Andrew Abdo saying the game has no tolerance for players abusing police.

“Payne’s conduct was unacceptable. There are no excuses for any form of abuse towards our police force. Any player who intimidates police will be dealt with severely,’’ he said last month.

Gun centre Kotoni Staggs copped a $10,000 fine recently after allegedly making a homophobic slur towards a fan, which reportedly sparked a fight at a Dubbo pub late last year.

The on-field issues that saw the Broncos anchored to the bottom of the ladder last year will also be tough to overcome, especially with the loss of talented forwards David Fifita and Joe Ofahengaue.

Walters watched his players crash to a 34-18 loss to the Cowboys on Saturday night, imploding in the second half as they coughed up an 18-6 halftime lead.

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