RUGBY LEAGUE: After almost two months of rife speculation, the NRL's coaching saga has finally come to a rest.

Anthony Seibold has started life at the Broncos, as Wayne Bennett rocks up for a Rabbitohs new era.

Both men made the move despite having a year left on their respective contracts, and despite both vehemently denying an early switch for next season.

But who truly comes out on the better end of the deal? Will Wayne's legacy live on or is it time for a new generation?

MOOSE ELKERTON: Master coach and master club; a recipe for success

IT IS a day we have been waiting for, but one I never thought would come.

The greatest NRL coach has finally linked up with the greatest NRL club. If that doesn't spell success to you, then you're lying to yourself.

Wayne Bennett has a track record that has followed him to every club he has graced.

Even the Knights, from which he apparently left in turmoil, made it to the semi-finals of the 2014 NRL season under Bennett, the first time they had made it that far in almost a decade of rugby league.

Add to that premiership success at the Broncos and the drought-breaking effort at the Dragons, in only his second year with the club, and it is hard to deny his influence over the game.

There are many pundits who suggest Bennett's ability to coach sides to the big one has, pardon the pun, waned in his later years but it's not true.

Like a fine wine, he has continued to age well, and has maintained an impeccable record, which includes only missing out on the NRL finals once in the past two decades.

It is hard to compare the ability of a super coach like Wayne Bennett to a bloke who has only been in charge one season like Seibold.

That isn't to say Seibold is a bad coach; he was the coach of the year last season, but the Rabbitohs do seem to have gotten the better of this deal.

Just look at the way the fans responded when he showed up this week, it was a standing ovation. They know a new era has come to Redfern.

 

ON THE JOB: Former Brisbane Bronco's coach Wayne Bennett arrives to take up his new coaching position with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. INSET: Anthony Seibold turns up for Broncos duty.
ON THE JOB: Former Brisbane Bronco's coach Wayne Bennett arrives to take up his new coaching position with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. INSET: Anthony Seibold turns up for Broncos duty. DEAN LEWINS/AAP PHOTOS

JARRARD 'POTTSY POTTER: Seibold is the way forward

BENNETT is the past. Seibold is the future.

Now that the dust has settled, the two coaches have swapped roles and have began training at their new clubs, it's time to look at who got the better deal, and I believe the South Sydney Rabbitohs have picked up an ageing galloper with a good track record but only a few laps left in him, and let go of a thoroughbred with huge potential to the Brisbane Broncos.

Seibold, in his first year as a top-grade NRL coach, took the Rabbitohs to a third place finish, and picked up the Dally M Coach of the Year award in the process. He brought out the best in fellow rookie Damien Cook, who went on to pick up the Dally M for hooker, as well as inspiring Greg Inglis to take his game to another level.

Meanwhile at the Broncos, the ongoing will-he, won't-he drama of Bennett must have had some impact at some stage, as they finished sixth and bowed out of the finals with a 30-point thrashing.

Bennett tends to bring drama, and I can't help but think a falling-out with front office, similar to what happened at the Broncos, is possible.

Realistically, Bennett is near the end of his career, and while he is a super coach, the game is moving at an ever-increasing pace and I have serious doubts over Bennett's ability to keep up.

However with Seibold, he is a rookie, fresh-faced and full of energy, ready and willing to prove his place at the top grade and hungry to taste success at the helm of an NRL team.



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