Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold urged fans to keep the faith after the Broncos’ 46-8 loss to Melbourne last night but while he searched for positives after yet another defeat there was one topic he wasn’t willing to wade into.
The Broncos have lost eight of their past nine matches, conceding 94 points in their last two games against the Storm and Tigers while scoring only one try. They’ve got problems off the field too as they engage in a bidding war with Gold Coast for the services of gun back-rower David Fifita.
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The 20-year-old was initially weighing up a $1.25m one-year offer to join the Titans in 2021, but the club has now reportedly upped the ante. Yesterday the Courier Mail reported that offer had been bumped up to $3.5 million over three years.
The Broncos can only afford to pay Fifita $700,000 next year, so are hoping he stays at Red Hill out of loyalty, with the lure of richer contracts and bigger paydays from 2022 onwards.
But Seibold wasn’t prepared to talk about the Titans’ mega deal after last night’s loss, jumping in midway through a reporter’s question to make his position clear.
“I’m not here to talk about that tonight, I want to talk about the game tonight,” Seibold said.
Fifita has changed his mind a couple of times about leaving Brisbane, and is expected to make a decision about his future next week.
NRL guru Phil Gould labelled the Titans’ monster offer “irresponsible” on Twitter while Newcastle legend Andrew Johns thinks throwing $1m a season at a back-rower isn’t the right move.
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David Fifita has a big decision to make.Source:News Corp Australia
“A million dollars for me for a back-rower is quite high,” Johns said. “I think the Broncos said they’d only go to seven or eight hundred (thousand), something like that.
“I think the Broncos are right, I think about $800,000. He’s an amazing prospect. He could be one of the best back-rowers in the game but he’s only 20 and I don’t think I’d be paying anywhere near that million dollars … for a back-rower.”
Fifita’s Broncos teammate Pat Carrigan said while he wants the young gun to stay, he can understand if the injured star heads to the glitter strip given the money being put in front of him.
“I will respect whatever Dave wants to do moving forward,” Carrigan said. “I would love to keep him at the Broncs but we have all got a family and our own aspirations and have to look at what is best for them.
“It is not a distraction at all. I can’t wait to get him back on the field and hopefully that is here for a couple more years.
“Tonight’s performances and other performances have nothing to do with what is going on with Dave and his contract situation.
“I am good mates with Dave and I know what he is about as a person. He is about getting his rehab done. He is hurting at the moment with the results we are dishing up but he is a part of our club.”
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