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Relief for Seibold but Pay feels heat as Broncos beat Bulldogs in despair derby

Corey Oates was another on report for a high shot, as was Canterbury centre Reimis Smith after a cannonball tackle on Alex Glenn that saw the Broncos captain rushed to the rooms with suspected medial ligament damage. Scans on Sunday will reveal more but Seibold was less than impressed with the incident.

“It does (sour the win). He’s been in and out of the team a little bit. You get players back and lose a couple, it’s been the story of our season,” Seibold said. “It got put on report. It was a really awkward tackle. Lexi knew straight away, felt the pop.”

Winger Nick Meaney provided a first-half highlight with an acrobatic finish in the corner to leave the Dogs trailing 10-4 at the break. Aside from that, they conjured little in attack, with Brisbane on most occasions able to simply rush up and cut off any side-to-side movements after two passes.

Xavier Coates is mobbed by his Broncos teammates after scoring a try.

Xavier Coates is mobbed by his Broncos teammates after scoring a try.Credit:Getty

When they did have limited chances to mount pressure on the Broncos line, their finishes and options were clunky and indicative of a side lacking confidence and a killer punch. For Brisbane, Anthony Milford has been out of form but his kicking game was on song, at least, and it helped Brisbane in spades on Saturday.

You couldn’t accuse the Bulldogs of throwing in the towel but, even against a Broncos side that has looked harmless against the good clubs and on a six-game losing streak, they were well off the pace.

Whether Pay has the quality of players at his disposal to do much better remains to be seen. He inherited a side that lost a host of experienced players due to salary cap woes and has pleaded for some patience to try and rebuild and recruit.

After the match, he said the side was hurting badly and some clarity from the board, when it meets this week, would be “useful for everybody”.

“It’s tough in there for them [the players]. Really tough. They turn up to training, they’re always disappointed, we have to keep whacking away and make sure we produce a better performance than we did tonight,” Pay said.

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“At the moment, we’re at a level that’s not going to get us there.”

Thompson looks a fine purchase, was full of fire in his debut and provided some starch in defence. He had a running battle with Pangai jnr that was soundly won by the mercurial Broncos big man, who was a constant danger with his hard carries and six offloads.

Seibold has faced plenty of fire over recent weeks but allowed himself a smile after the match, saying he felt it was a step in the right direction and a reward for a young group that had been put through the ringer since the season resumed.

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