SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 04: Former Sea Eagles player Geoff Toovey looks on before the round eight NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Lottoland on May 04, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

For the men in the hot seat, it’s hard to cop but the NRL is simply a results-driven business, and at the end of the day there is always going to be at least eight coaches under pressure after an NRL season having missed the all-important finals series.

While some coaches and clubs have lower expectations than others, the proverbial axe is hovering over a few coaching careers at the moment, with some club boards coming out to announce that their coach has ‘the full support of the board’, which is as good as a death sentence in modern-day rugby league.

With Garth Brennan already out the door and Nathan Brown having been informed that he is surplus to requirements next season, the careers of Paul Green, Mary McGregor, and Stephen Kearney are all hanging in the balance.

With the Titans having already appointed the inexperienced Justin Holbrook to somehow save their sinking ship, and the Knights reportedly heavily interested in Roosters assistant coach Adam O’Brien, this has left me asking one question: how is Geoff Toovey still without a job?

In his four-year stint at the helm of his beloved Sea Eagles, Toovey led his team to three top-four finishes, featured in one grand final, one grand final qualifier and also possessed an impressive 58% win ratio.

Toovey is an old fashioned coach, with former player Steve Matai describing him to be someone who leads by example and takes no prisoners, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that “everything came from him and he wasn’t relying on his assistant coaches. He was the one who set the standards.”

While there is a minor blip on his record, that being his sacking from his boyhood club at the end of the 2015 season, in which they finished one win out of the finals, it ended up proving to be one of the more bizarre sackings in recent memory with numerous NRL fans questioning the Sea Eagles’ decision to sack the Manly-Warringah life member.

All things considered, Toovey has proven himself to be nothing short of a pure winner who doesn’t suffer fools gladly and is more than capable of producing impressive results with a shoe-string budget for both his football department and roster. I can think of a few clubs in need of a man who fits that job description at the moment.

With the Paul’s, McGregor and Green, treading on extremely thin ice, yet still possessing squads with an eye-catching balance of representative talent and promising youngsters, the Cowboys and Dragons could do worse than replace their struggling mentors with Toovey. A man has proven on multiple occasions that he can take a squad deep into the finals, something neither of those proud clubs has done for a few years.

15 COMMENTS

  1. “inexperienced Justin Holbrook”

    So Justin who has just lead his team to a Challenge cup final and the top of Superleague is inexperienced but some assistant coach with the Roosters isn’t ?

    I agree with the article, Toovey would seem to have better credentials than some plying their trade at the moment.

  2. I believe Geoff was given plenty of warnings regarding his outbursts at refs in games against the roosters hence his situation.

  3. FrankSausage speaking of investigations, look into why the roosters membership is in tatters.
    My apologies if you are feeling a little confronted and turmoiled but here’s another one for you.
    In response to your constant reference to Souths not having a leagues club, you may be aware that Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club’s ongoing existance is primarily derived from poker machine revenue.
    When Crowe and Holmes A Court took over the reigns of Souths they decided not to build a Souths Club as a statement against gambling and unlike the roosters, didn’t want Souths members funding its club through gambling addictions but instead through membership purchases and charities which is another reason Souths stand proud and in high regard in the community.
    How much do you contribute every week to your beloved roosters through your favorite machine tucked away in a little corner of that dump?
    Can’t even afford a lousy $80 basic membership as a result I’m guessing.

  4. Toovey has 100% manly DNA and unfortunately this is working against him in the false belief that he is only capable of coaching one team.

  5. Toovey should get the Dragons job because he leads by example and has a can get them to the finals. The dragons already have a strong forward pack with James Graham, Paul Vaughan, T. Sims and Tyson Frizell with K. Sims off the bench. Then they have a experienced 6,7 9 combo with Norman, Hunt and McInnes who are all really good on attack. In the backs you have some issues but you also have lots of potential.
    I’d suggest getting some strong and cheap forwards such as Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Alex Glenn. I’d replace Aiken, Lafai and Dufty with Jesse Ramien and Will Hopoate. This hopefully fixes some of the backline issues and stops so much of the errors.

    1. Hopoate
    2. Sailer
    3. Ramien
    4. Lomax
    5. Rawalawa/Peirerra/Saab
    6. Norman
    7. Hunt
    8. Graham
    9. McInnes
    10. Vaughan
    11. Glenn
    12. T. Sims
    13. Frizzel

    14. Field
    15. Sims
    16. Lawrie
    17. Faitala-Mariner

    In: RFM, Glenn, Hopoate and Ramien
    Out: Lafai, Aiken, Dufty, Widdop, Robson, Maranta, Allgood and Kaufusi.

    All of a sudden you combine your already strong middle with strong edges on both sides and add some experience players and depth, that’s a winning team. Hopoate at the back makes the team a lot better on both attack and defence. While Alex Glenn comes in on the cheap and is a solid veteran second rower who will score a few tries. This allows Frizell to move into the middle and make that area more mobile.

  6. Should go and coach the warriors and toughen them up. They believed that bringing in a kiwi polynesian coach in kearney would bring out the best in them but it hasnt. Tooves was a like a dog on a bone as a player and with a player clean out and just making them believe in themselves and making them gritty he could really turn them into a tough team.

  7. As for the other coaches. Shane Flanagan is still pretty decent and Nathan Brown deserves another crack but might want to take a little break for a bit. Laurie Daley could probably do a decent job in the NRL but maybe as an assistant
    .
    Dean Pay was lucky at the start of the season to keep his job now his team is just outside the 8. I still don’t think he’s good enough to coach in the NRL but who wants to help rebuild the dogs. Maybe Jason Demetriu, Kristian Woolf or Adrian Lam.

    As for Kearney I still think he has backing from the NZ public just. We all know how bad the team can be but he hasn’t improved them on the field. Yes RTS Maumalo and Fusitua all carry the team and yes we continue to bring in new youngsters CHT Herbert Teveaga who also help carry the team it’s often the failed big name signings that let us down or the attitude of the team on D, missing simple 1v1s. I’d love to have an Aussie coach with good experience like what we had with Cleary. Shane Flanagan or Toovey would be awesome for us especially with attitude and defensive efforts

  8. swa9amuff1n, Well thought out That was a good read mate’ – can you get over to Kogarah a bit after lunch time and see if you can catch Bruce Gordon (owner) before he has his afternoon nap.

  9. The dragons should definitely be after Toovey, I don’t know why he hasnt got a job somewhere sooner.

  10. Sorry where is Leilua in the team, our most creative forward. Kafusi is only on a short term 6 month contract and is leaving anyway.

  11. I do wish people would stop talking about Shane Flanagan as a possible for these sorts of job – he isn’t, He isn’t a coach, he is discredited, he is banned.

    He is on a wing and a prayer to ever coach in this comp ever again so lets stop talking about Flanagan as if he is a viable option cos he ain’t.

  12. Sorry swa9.
    You’re saying the 6,7 & 9 at St.George are inexperienced. Then you’re proposing the same players , in the same positions again next season . Hunt was a huge waste of a mil per season. Has not proven to be a great halfback. Norman can be great & terrible. Depends on the week.
    Can they get any of Mariner , Ramien , Hopoate? Or is that just creative thinking? Great to say get this player or that one. Can it be done?

  13. I said they are experienced, read again. Hunt isn’t a million dollars per season player and everyone knows that but he is worth about 700k. It’s not my fault the dragons decided to pay overs for him but now that you have him you may as well play him. I know Norman is very inconsistent but he’s also your best five eight in the club so you play him. I think the dragons can sign any player in the combo if they have the salary cap room and have good recruiters which I am not. I was simply suggesting who I would go for if I was in that position. Ramien, Hopoate, Glenn and RFM would be my choices. I know for a fact the club was talking about getting RFM but the others are just suggestions.
    Now personally I believe that if the public suggest a player should be signed by their team (ie, Hopoate to the Dragons) and it gets a lot of support from the public that the team will at least think about it and will possibly move ahead with making that move. So I personally like to make suggestions and hope others agree and teams get better or others disagree and we can have a good footy discussion

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