Broncos’ late night pokies spree before Eels bashing
THE Broncos have plunged into crisis following explosive revelations eight Brisbane players left the team hotel to play poker machines on the eve of their embarrassing 58-0 finals loss to Parramatta.
The Broncos are aware of the incident and have launched an investigation into the matter.
It can be revealed Broncos stars Anthony Milford, Corey Oates, Matt Gillett, Payne Haas, David Fifita, Andrew McCullough, Gehamat Shibasaki and Joe Ofahengaue attended a Sydney pub to play pokies just 24 hours before the club's biggest game of the season.
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Eyewitnesses have confirmed the eight players attended Harpoon and Hotel Harry in Surry Hills on Saturday night, just a short 350-metre walk from Pullman Sydney Hyde Park hotel where the Broncos were staying.
The eight players left the team hotel to gamble without the knowledge of Broncos management, including coach Anthony Seibold.
Broncos bosses only learned of the matter on Tuesday after being informed by a media outlet.
The development will rock the Broncos and represents a terrible look for the playing group, who subsequently lost 58-0 to the Eels to record the biggest loss in Brisbane's proud 31-year history.
Brisbane CEO Paul White has promised a full review of the club and this incident will bring into question the culture of Brisbane's playing group and whether coach Seibold has lost the support of the dressing-room.
Sources have revealed Milford, Oates, Gillett, Haas, Fifita, McCullough, Shibasaki and Ofahengaue arrived at the pub around 9pm.
The group were not drinking alcohol, but several players were seen by pub patrons venturing to the gaming lounge where they proceeded to play the poker machines.
Most of the group left by 11.30pm. One player stayed behind on his own and continued to play the pokies before leaving the establishment just after midnight.
The revelations will come as a devastating blow to coach Seibold, who went to bed on Saturday night completely unaware half his squad went behind his back to play pokies in a shocking display of unprofessionalism before the Eels clash.
The attitude of Brisbane's leading players spilled onto the field where they conceded 11 tries against Parramatta in the most embarrassing display in the club's history.
The Broncos had only been in camp a matter of hours after flying into Sydney in the late afternoon.
Seibold and the players had a team dinner around 6.30pm before the group watched a specially-prepared video presentation of their highlights from the 2019 season to act as motivation for the sudden-death final.
After the video screening, the squad left for massages before nine players, including skipper Darius Boyd, retreated to their rooms around 8.30pm.
The remaining eight players decided to kick on and left the team hotel for a nearby pub visit for their gambling session.
Given the embarrassment of Brisbane's heavy loss, Broncos management will consider fines and possible suspensions for the poker-machine bandits in a dreadful postscript to their afternoon of disaster at Parramatta.