Wayne Bennett famously banned mobile phones from the training rooms but new Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is using them to give his players a winning edge.
Hudl is an app utilised by the vast majority of American professional sporting teams in the NBA, NFL and NHL and has also gained traction in the NRL.
Melbourne Storm, considered to be at the forefront of using video in the NRL, have been using the app for a number of years.
Coaches who have worked under Craig Bellamy invariably take the technology with them to new clubs.
The app allows coaches to send specific video from training or games to individual player accounts that can be easily accessed via their phone or tablet device.
Coaches can also monitor which players are digesting the largest amount of video content – Billy Slater regularly logging in excess of two hours of extra video analysis in preparation for each game for the Storm.
Given the reaction of some Broncos players when asked by NRL.com of their use of Hudl, it is obviously an innovation they are keen to keep close to their chests.
“I can’t give too much away,” said hooker Andrew McCullough.
“How do you know about Hudl? Who leaked that?” asked halfback Kodi Nikorima.
But it is no state secret; merely a modern way of condensing hours of footage into easily digestible pieces of content that Nikorima says was first exposed to on the Kiwi tour of England late last year under New Zealand and Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire.
“I like the fact that we’ve got that app. I actually used it when we were away with New Zealand as well so I got used to it there,” Nikorima said.
“It’s obviously so we can do some footage when we’re at home instead of coming into training and getting on the computer.
“We’ve got everything on there. Our defence, our attack, our cage ‘D’, our kicking, everything.”
Back-rower David Fifita only turned 19 on Monday and is still getting accustomed to the amount of video consumed by NRL squads on a daily basis.
Of specific importance to Fifita is learning not only how he fits into the defensive structure employed by Seibold but also the analysis of the shapes that he can expect opposition teams to throw at him.
“All this is new to me, watching video and stuff,” Fifita told NRL.com.
“I didn’t really watch video that much. Last year was probably when I watched it the most when I was 18 and this year I'm slowly getting back into it.
“We’ve been looking at the opposition shapes of the Titans who we’ve got this week and my game and what we’ve been doing at training.
“Hudl is really good for us, to see where we’re at in our game, helping us out with what we need to work on.”
Given his performance for the Indigenous All Stars a fortnight ago, Fifita looks like picking up where he left off in 2018 in 11 assured top-grade appearances.
All indications are that he’ll be even better again in 2019 and Hudl will play a role in his continued education.
“The whole group gets sent video of what we can work on and improvements we can make in our game. They cut up videos of what we need to work on, it’s really good,” said Fifita, who will start in the back row in Saturday’s trial against the Titans on the Gold Coast.
“I get sent videos showing that I need to work with my ‘five man’ better, the talk in defence with my edge.
“Also just running hard and getting a quick play-the-ball for my side and knowing my role.
“Everyone’s got heaps to work on but that’s mine - running hard, working hard with my five man, stay in ‘D’.”