Kevin Walters backed by Sam Thaiday, Wally Lewis despite hectic Brisbane Broncos season

Brisbane Broncos great Sam Thaiday backed Kevin Walters to succeed as the club’s head coach, despite a tough first season at the helm.

After a horror season in 2020 that saw the Fallen Power end last, the Broncos have earned seven wins in 2021 and have finally found their best football as the season progresses.

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Thaiday, who has played 304 games for the club, said the hardships Walters endured in his first season at Brisbane should serve him well for 2022 and beyond.

“You have to realize that he always finds his marks in this role,” Thaiday told Wide World of Sports.

“I think he will be much better because of this year and the adversity he has had to face as a coach.

“He definitely became a good coach towards the end of the season. He had a real direction and a real process and I could see that things were starting to stick with the players and the way they played football.

“A pre-season ahead of him [and] a few practice games and hopefully we start next year and we’re a much improved team. “

Thaiday’s sentiment was echoed by Queensland rugby league legend Wally Lewis, who praised Walters for not giving up despite appearing at times “like a broken man.”

“You could see he was very disappointed, a broken man, on several occasions, but he didn’t throw in the towel,” Lewis told Wide World of Sports.

“It has been a difficult year for him, extremely difficult. Finding his own coaching style would have been extremely difficult, especially when he had the opportunity to be taught by some of the best coaches in the game, [Wayne] Bennett and [Tim] Highlights are just a few of them.

“When you come in and try to implement your own style of coaching it can be a lot more difficult.

“You work with different playing staff, you work with different oppositions and being able to go down and lock in something that is not only suitable for the team, but also suitable for the players as an individual is much easier. said that done.

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“After going down to cover [Broncos training] over and over you could see the number of times Kevvie scratched the back of his head and looked around.

“This is openly the most difficult role in rugby league, that of a coach, especially when the expectations are so high.”

Lewis and Thaiday both suggested Walters had little chance of success due to the Broncos’ instability in halftime, which saw the coach deploy eight different combinations throughout the year.

“You have two guys in the four most important positions on the pitch,” Lewis said.

“The n ° 1, n ° 6, n ° 7 and n ° 9, everyone agrees that these are the key positions, and not to have a certain stability and to be able to perform very well after week. week makes it almost impossible [to succeed]. “

“I think Kevvie has probably figured out who he’s going to partner with Adam Reynolds with next year, which is going to be awesome,” Thaiday added.

“From these guys [tried in the halves this season], I thought Tyson Gamble was probably the most consistent.

“Sometimes these guys didn’t give Kevvie the opportunity to continually pick them because of their own form and it’s hard to win games when you continually have a different halves combination every two weeks.”

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