Bron­cos swing axe on Ben­nett’s team

The Timaru Herald - - $ -

Bris­bane have sacked Wayne Ben­nett’s most trusted staffers – in­clud­ing the man who was once short­listed to re­place the vet­eran coach – as the fall­out from the coach­ing merry-go-round con­tin­ues.

Bron­cos staffers in­clud­ing as­sis­tant Ja­son Demetriou, an­a­lyst Scott Barker and per­for­mance boss Jeremy Hick­mans have been let go as new coach An­thony Sei­bold be­gins in­stalling his own men at Red Hill. Trainer Tan­nath Scott is also likely to be a ca­su­alty.

Sei­bold has brought for­mer Souths staff, in­clud­ing per­for­mance coach Paul Devlin and as­sis­tants Pe­ter Gen­tle and Ben Cross north with him, with the club squeez­ing out a num­ber of staff who still had a year re­main­ing on their con­tract.

It is a par­tic­u­larly bit­ter pill for Demetriou, who was one of only four can­di­dates in­ter­viewed to take over from Ben­nett. Now he finds him­self without a job and with lit­tle prospect of find­ing one now that most clubs have made their ap­point­ments for next sea­son.

When Souths signed Ben­nett from 2020, the deal was done on the pro­viso that Ben­nett would not be able to take any of his Bron­cos lieu­tenants with him. It was one of the rea­sons he opted to see out the fi­nal year of his con­tract, to en­sure the job se­cu­rity of those clos­est to him. An­other was the prom­ise he made to the play­ers to ful­fil his com­mit­ment, one of the rea­sons he knocked back a three-year deal to join Wests Tigers.

There could also be some player de­par­tures from Red Hill. Can­ter­bury Bull­dogs could move to sign a strike cen­tre and have been eye­ing Jor­dan Kahu. It re­mains to be seen whether Sei­bold would en­ter­tain grant­ing the New Zealand in­ter­na­tional a re­lease if he sought one. Dis­graced for­mer cy­clist Lance Armstrong said he’ll spend the ‘‘rest of his life’’ try­ing to make amends to the peo­ple he let down and who view him as a fraud af­ter pub­licly ad­mit­ting to blood dop­ing six years ago.

Armstrong also said the last six years of his life have ‘‘re­ally sucked’’ as he’s dealt with the fall­out.

‘‘It’s been ter­ri­ble,’’ Armstrong said in a To­day show in­ter­view that aired yes­ter­day.

Armstrong was banned from com­pet­i­tive sanc­tioned cy­cling for life in 2012 and stripped of his seven Tour de France ti­tles, which he won from 1999 to 2005.

He pub­licly de­nied ever dop­ing for more than a decade be­fore ad­mit­ting to an ex­ten­sive use of per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs in a 2013 in­ter­view with Oprah Win­frey.

‘‘That in­ter­view came at an in­ter­est­ing time, at a dif­fi­cult time, and in a lot of ways maybe came too soon,’’ Armstrong said of com­ing clean to Oprah.

‘‘I don’t think it worked. I think it ab­so­lutely did not work. For half of the room, it wasn’t enough. Then for the other half of the

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