Sea Eagles Assistant Coach Anthony Seibold speaks about being involved in Queensland’s Origin Series win this year. Seibold spoke to Manly Media Manager Wayne Cousins about his role as an Assistant Coach of the Maroons for the first time under Kevin Walters.
WC: How different was your role during the six weeks of Origin compared to that at Manly?
AS: My role was very similar to my club role so it was a smooth transition between the two. With regards to our preparation on the field the sessions were a little shorter, very intense and all opposed. Our prep around the game strategy and reviewing and previewing of the opposition was very similar to club land. It was a good opportunity to work with some players who I hadn’t worked with prior and it was also good to reunite with guys like Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Justin O'Neill, Michael Morgan and Nate Myles who I have worked with prior to this series.
WC: As a NSW fan myself, what is it about this Queensland aura?
AS: A couple of things really stood out to me. One of them was the team first mentality across the group. You leave your club caps at the door. The other thing that stood out was the respect they have for each other and for those who have come before them. The group loves spending time with each other in camp. The senior players in the group were good at driving standards and making each other accountable. As coaches, we set the scene and the standards, and the senior players really drove it.
Q: How much different will Anthony Seibold be now as a coach for this experience?
AS: It was another experience that allowed me to be exposed to the very elite in our game, so of course that is beneficial to your coaching. It was a real privilege for me and I’m thankful to Manly for allowing me to do the role. I made sure I didn't cut any corners with my preparation for the Sea-Eagles whilst combining the roles and that was important to me. It gave me a great experience in working with some elite players in Jonathan Thurston and Greg Inglis who I hadn’t worked with prior and to observe how they prepare. The whole experience reinforced to me what is important in regards to preparation, work ethic and being thorough. I really enjoyed working with Kevie Walters and felt we combined well as a coaching staff. Origin is a high pressure game. When I was at the Storm, I was involved in finals series and a preliminary final, but just the pressure involved with Origin, and how to handle that as a coach and playing group was a real experience. I am certainly better for experiencing this series. At the end of the day, those three games are the top three rated TV programs this year. Both teams are heavily under the microscope. Anyone attached to the teams, whether they are playing group or coaching staff, there is pressure attached to that. There are certain things you can control as a coach, such as the preparation and your attention to detail. But once the players go on the park, they have their responsibility to do their jobs and it is us as coaches to allow them to do that.
Q: How does the boy from Rockhampton look back being involved in a winning Origin series?
AS: I look back on the series fondly with a great deal of satisfaction. I had my mum and dad come down for Game 2. Being from Rockhampton, I grew up with rugby league and my Dad played country footy so to represent them made me proud. To win Game 2 and be part of that group was special. After Game 3, I had my family in the change rooms and one thing that Kevin Walters did was to show how important our families are to the success of the group. All of the families of the players and staff were in there after Game 3. Although it was a hollow feeling because we lost on the bell, the playing group and coaching staff did a really good job to win the series. It was just great at Game 2 to have Mum and Dad there, and after Game 3 to spend it with my family because they sacrifice a lot for you.