Legend doubles down on ugly reality check
Former Brisbane Broncos great Gorden Tallis has revealed just how deep the rift between the club and its former stars has become with a fresh insight into how he and other legends have been kept at "arm's length".
The Broncos won six premierships in the first 18 years of its existence with some of the biggest names in rugby league turning out for the club.
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Legends including Darren Lockyer, Allan Langer, Glenn Lazarus, Wendell Sailor, Wally Lewis, Kevin Walters, Shane Webcke and Tallis himself all played for the club but 14 years since the club's last premiership, the club is seemingly a long way removed from its glory days.
It all came to a head after the Broncos' 58-0 loss to Parramatta in last seasons' finals series, before going one worse in round 4 with a 59-0 loss to the Sydney Roosters, the two biggest losses in club history.
It has led to weeks of back and forth with the Broncos' legends clipping the club for its performances, having lost four straight since returning from the season suspension, including Thursday night's 27-6 loss to the Newcastle Knights.
Prop Matt Lodge even called out Tallis specifically to come and help out the team, to which the Broncos legend replied "they've made their bed, they can lie in it".
While the Broncos turned a corner in the 20-18 loss to the Manly Sea Eagles last week, captain Alex Glenn said the side had an honesty session after the game.
"It started on Friday. We basically threw some honesty on the table and the boys took it well," he said. "Since then … everyone is speaking up. That's what we need from each other; we need a bit of accountability.
"Having those tough conversations with each other, sometimes it might be hard and confronting but we are trying to build that trust."
Asked what he would do to solve some of the issues at the club, Tallis said there had been a few areas to focus on.
"I'm not sure whether (coach Anthony) Seibold has the runs on the board and the CEO (Paul White), because he's been there for four coaches," Tallis said. "I'm not sure whether he's making the right decisions and that's why they've gone and bought a Ben Te'o and an Isaac Luke, they've missed (Kalyn) Ponga, they've missed players.
"The decisions that are getting made there are poor. When you talk about the old boys or that they've had an old boy going back, and we would have all tied in, he's kept us at arms length."
Yvonne Sampson asked why it's been the case that the champions of the past have been kept away and Tallis said "I don't know".
"I would welcome all of them back but a couple of times with the group, they've tried to get to games and it just hasn't worked so I don't know because I'm not part of that group but I know I'd like to be part of it," he admitted.
"I'm proud of the club, it's a club I wanted to play for but it doesn't worry me whether I ever walk back in there or not. And that shouldn't be the case and I'm pretty sure it's the same for a lot of the old boys. But I think if you asked us all honestly, and they didn't have a filter like me, we'd all be the same. Kevvie Walters should have been given the opportunity to fail, not be told he wasn't good enough."
Tallis said Walters was offered the role and shook hands with White before the club went with Seibold. He added it was "cloudy" over how it played out.
Tallis continued: "I feel sorry for the players because they don't get support from the old boys and I'm one of them. And it's because of what's happened above them, all the decisions that are getting made at the club, we're not happy with them. I'm not there but we want it to be successful.
"When I was 15 I wanted them to win, now I'm 47 I want the Broncos to be successful. I want them to win, I want Queensland teams to win. So when we have a go, it's not that we're having a go at them, we're worried about them and we talk about them. I'm in the media so I get asked about them, so I given my honest opinion from what I'm hearing and what I'm looking.
"If they're telling me the recruitment is right at that club when Allan Langer played when, and what halfback have we had. There have been big names come off contract and we haven't gone after them."
Tallis said it wasn't fair when the signings of Te'o and Luke were brought up with the discussion of the Broncos' youth being a big talking point.
Michael Ennis said the team lacks resilience and pointed to last week's loss against Manly when the side wasn't able to respond when the Sea Eagles put the "blowtorch" to them.
Originally published as Legend doubles down on ugly reality check