Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has admitted to some regrets at granting a request from 260-game hooker Anthony McCullough to leave the club and sign with Newcastle.
McCullough’s invaluable experience and leadership would have been a boon for an undermanned and young Broncos side that’s gone 0-3 since the resumption of the NRL.
Now, as McCullough’s Knights prepare to welcome his old club this Thursday night, Seibold admits with the benefit of hindsight that having his old rake could have helped.
The decision to grant McCullough’s release was followed by an inopportune injury to first-choice hooker Jake Turpin, leaving the inexperienced Cory Paix as the only viable No.9 left on the roster.
“A lot of that was driven from Macca, he wanted an opportunity to go and start in the number 9 somewhere. Obviously at our club he was behind Jake Turpin in that position,” Seibold told reporters on a Tuesday press call.
“When Turps hurt himself a week later you have some regrets in hindsight but ultimately it was the right thing for Macca and our club at the time.
“Some decisions you get right, some decisions you get wrong.
“Macca asked the club for a release and we thought at the time with Jake starting at 9 and Cory we had that position filled but ultimately Turps broke his (leg) one week later.
“You make decisions you think are best for the player the person and the club at the time.”
The Broncos have been able to bolster their hooking stocks during Turpin’s lay-off by this week signing veteran Kiwi rake Isaac Luke, who was granted a release from the Dragons after just 150 minutes playing in the Red V.
“I just thought for that position to bring in who’s played 270-odd games and 50 or so for New Zealand… it was a good fit for Isaac and a good fit for us. He can help Cory Paix while Jake Turpin’s out,” Seibold added.
“We’ll name him in our 21 but he only arrived on (Monday) afternoon.”