NEWS Bird bungle: 'It's unlike the Broncos to panic'

Super Freak

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Wendell Sailor backs Jack Bird to rebound at Broncos after slow start


December 18, 2018

Brisbane great Wendell Sailor felt “sorry” for Jack Bird during his maiden NRL season at Red Hill and believes he was rushed back on to the park.

An unabashed fan of the Cronulla premiership-winner, Sailor expects Bird to regain his swagger in 2019 under the tutelage of new Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.

Bird was restricted to just eight appearances this year because of injury and his season was considered a disappointment.

After off-season shoulder surgery, the former Sharks star did not get on the park until round three before being hindered by a sternum injury which ended his campaign and resulted in him going under the knife a second time.

The 23-year-old was repeatedly linked with a move back to the Sharks, after being spotted in Sydney with former teammates.

Bird is now under pressure to deliver on his reported $800,000 price tag but Sailor said he was never given a chance to deliver his best football under Wayne Bennett last year.

“I feel sorry for Jack,” Sailor said at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic golf tournament.

“He’s a great kid but his confidence was down and when he got brought in on big money I think he was overawed by the situation, they shouldn’t have rushed him in.

“Even if they took him until round 12 or 13, they should have made him wait. He was underdone and it’s unlike the Broncos to panic.

“There was a feeling they were just under a bit of pressure, I reckon Wayne was under a bit of pressure too.”

Sailor first came across the NSW Origin representative while working as an ambassador for St George Illawarra when Bird was at the club as a junior.

Bird has returned to pre-season training and has shed 5kg as he seeks to help break the Broncos’ longest premiership drought.

Sailor said there was “no question” Bird could deliver on his marquee potential.

“People are forgetting the injury he had,” Sailor said.

“To be able to do what he does at this level, I’ve got no doubt he can recapture that form and be even better over the next couple of years. It’s a bit (in the mind) as well.

“With Jaydn Su’a around, (David) Fifita, (Joe) Ofahengaue and that forward pack, some of those backs like James Roberts are going to play their best football now.”

Source: Courier Mail
 

Super Freak

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How was it a bungle? They didn’t even know anything was wrong until they checked after a few rounds.
I think he was referring to playing him injured instead of letting him heal and then dropping him when he wasn’t performing.
 

winslow_wong

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Yeah, for all his faults I can't see Bennett spending top tier coin on a player he had no idea what he wanted to do with.
Had a couple of weeks at left centre, gets moved to the halves. Even had a swapsy with Roberts for one game. Then back to the halves for half a game.
 

Harry Sack

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Had a couple of weeks at left centre, gets moved to the halves. Even had a swapsy with Roberts for one game. Then back to the halves for half a game.
I think the long term plan was for Bird to be a ball playing lock but given his injuries maybe it wasn't possible? Or maybe once they realised the extent of his injury and that surgery was going to be required, they decided to throw him into positions he was familiar with, rather than have him try and learn a new position. I think he was thrown into the halves purely to mix it up because we were struggling there. Ideally, they should have just written his season off once it was discovered that surgery would be required.
 
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Jedhead

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I'm surprised that Siebs has not already advised the press where he will be deploying Bird.
 

winslow_wong

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I'm surprised that Siebs has not already advised the press where he will be deploying Bird.
Could be good for bird this way. Last season the press were all over his high priced contract and he was under immense pressure to deliver. He’s a bit under the radar so far this pre season which could just allow him to enjoy his football again.
 

BroncsFan

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I'm surprised that Siebs has not already advised the press where he will be deploying Bird.
There's been a few articles about him playing left centre since seibs started.

I think Bird himself has been quoted as saying he wants to make left centre his own or something along those lines
 

Sirlee oldman

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Makes sense that Bird might be moved in to lock considering we offloaded Moose.
I was interested to see how he would go at lock but it doesn’t make any sense at all now when you look at our top 30. We have heaps of middle forwards and very few outside backs. I will bet you anything you like Bird will play left centre.
 

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