The Kiwi international played 156 of his 222 NRL games at the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, becoming the club's enforcer after joining from the Wests Tigers in 2017, until he was informed that he wouldn't be retained by Manly past 2022.
The 32 year-old needed his future sorted when Parramatta came knocking earlier this season, desperate to secure an experienced, aggressive front-rower before the August 1 cut-off date.
While the unsigned international has his focus set on playing for Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup in a matter of weeks, Taupau admitted that Hasler had denied his request to leave Manly midseason - twice.
“It's always the what-if, but it is sad because it could have been a possibility I was playing tomorrow (Sunday) night,” Taupau told The Sun-Herald.
“It was only a reality for a small amount of time, but that window of opportunity was closed by Manly.
“I could have asked for a release via text message or phone call, but that's not who I am. I went on two occasions to ask Des for a release. Unfortunately, it wasn't granted.
“Des had his reasons. Obviously you get frustrated when people don't meet you where you're at with your journey.
“It was more frustrating with how it unravelled. I went to ask the club around the same time there was the rainbow jersey [issue], then I had a family member die suddenly and I had to go to Melbourne [for the funeral].
“But Des and I are big believers in things happening for a reason. In my mind I was ready for anything. Parramatta were due to play against Manly, and I was prepared to wear the blue and gold jersey. It's my job.”