It was like Groundhog Day for Brisbane after they crashed to their worst NRL home loss, routed 59-0 by a merciless Sydney Roosters.
Memories of the Broncos’ previous worst effort – a 58-0 NRL 2019 finals exit – came flooding back as the Roosters piled on 10 unanswered tries on Thursday night to keep the depleted hosts scoreless at Suncorp Stadium for the first time.
Just imagine if James Tedesco played.
Remarkably the Roosters overcame the late withdrawal of superstar fullback Tedesco due to illness to effortlessly clinch their first win at Suncorp Stadium since 2014, snapping a six game losing streak.
There was a strong sense of deja vu when an ashen faced Seibold fronted the media after the rout, just four games following their record finals thumping from Parramatta that forced an off-season overhaul at the club.
Like the Eels rout, Seibold took full responsibility for the thrashing and offered no excuses besides mentioning his side had 10 players with less than 30 games experience and pointing to their horror injury list.
“It was almost like Groundhog Day,” Seibold said.
“Everyone knows we were up against it but I still thought we would give a good account of ourselves.
“But under the furnace against the Roosters, we just didn’t handle the pressure, showed no resilience.
“I take responsibility for the performance. I picked the best side available…but it’s almost men against boys – it was totally unacceptable.”
In a display that at times resembled a training run, the Roosters all but secured the result by the break when they jumped to a stunning 29-0 lead – the biggest halftime deficit in Broncos history.
Brisbane have now conceded 93 points in their last two games, dropping to a 2-2 record after their season started with such promise.
Yet the early signs didn’t look good for the Roosters with Tedesco left in Sydney after waking up with flu-like symptoms.
And there was almost more drama when halfback Kyle Flanagan, centre Joey Manu and veteran Brett Morris failed their first temperature check under the NRL’s biosecurity protocols upon arrival at the venue before being cleared to play.
Brisbane no doubt wished they hadn’t.
Brett Morris comfortably filled in for Tedesco at fullback, defying his 33 years to set up three tries and run 109m, combining with his brother Josh to run amok behind a monster Roosters pack.
It was impressive stuff – yet Roosters coach Trent Robinson wasn’t getting too excited.
“We won’t be jumping for joy on the way home,” he said.
“There’s 16 rounds to go. We are content with our performance but you don’t rise and fall with those performances, otherwise we don’t build what we want to build.”
Brisbane were forced to blood two debutants – Cory Paix and Tesi Niu – after hooker Jake Turpin became their latest casualty.
Turpin is expected to be sidelined for at least a month after being ruled out with a leg fracture.
He joined captain Alex Glenn (leg), David Fifita (knee), Tevita Pangai (suspension), Kotoni Staggs (ban) and Jack Bird (knee) on the sidelines, prompting Seibold on Thursday to sign rugby convert Ben Te’o for the rest of 2020.
Meanwhile, Brisbane prop Matt Lodge may come under scrutiny for a first half high shot on impressive Roosters prop Lindsay Collins (240m).
And Roosters lock Victor Radley (elbow) came off in the final minutes.