Anthony Seibold says centre Kotoni Staggs has more than vindicated his faith in him after playing his most influential game of his career for the Broncos in the 28-6 win over Canterbury.
Staggs scored two tries and made two line breaks, two line-break assists and ran for 144 metres to give the Broncos potency out wide on the right edge in front of 20,818 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
The 20-year-old has played 17 games this year and missed just one, against Souths when Brisbane made a game-day switch and went with a four forward rotation on the bench.
"If not his best game then one of his best," Seibold said of Staggs' display.
"He saw some early footy and he got some opportunities that he took close to the line which was pleasing, and was really good defensively.
"Kotoni has got enormous potential and I've backed him since game one when I came here.
"I made some tough calls in round seven or round eight to get Kotoni back into the [starting] team.
"I have got so much belief in him and I think he will only get better as well off the back of his hard work at training where he is really diligent with his preparation."
Staggs was put on report for lifting his knees while in possession of the ball when tackled by Corey Harawira-Naera but Seibold said he had watched a replay of the incident and "didn't think there was anything to it".
"It was a big call in the context of the game. We had a fair bit of the flow and it slowed us up a bit. I'm not sure why it was a penalty and put on report," he said.
The Broncos were well led up front by starting middles Matt Lodge, Payne Haas and Thomas Flegler. Joe Ofahengaue and Pat Carrigan came on and continued their good work while David Fifita and Tevita Pangai jnr probed on the edges. All-round, it was as complete a forward display by the young Brisbane forwards this year.
"They played for each other tonight," Seibold said.
"One of the big challenges was that I found there was a lot of individual effort earlier in the year but not that overlapping effort that makes a team. I thought the last three weeks were a really good step in the right direction."
The Broncos are right in the finals race on 17 points, just one behind the Panthers. It hasn't all been plain sailing this year but Seibold pointed out that there were reasons for that.
"We've had 10 players make their debuts for the club this year and six of them made their NRL debuts… Flegler, Dearden, Pat Carrigan, Xavier Coates, Herbie Farnworth and the list goes on… and then we've got another group that have only played a few games before," Seibold said.
"Payne Haas only played three games last year and Gehamat Shibasaki only played one. It is about learning and improving and that is what we feel we've done.
"For some of the guys it has been a big learning curve. I challenge them to be consistent and we are starting to see some positive signs."
Sign up for a free NRL Account to access this video and other exclusive content.
Already have an NRL Account?
Not sure? Learn more about NRL Account