GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 01: Coach Neil Henry during a Gold Coast Suns NRL training session at CBus Super Stadium on March 1, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason O'Brien/Getty Images)

Memo to Titans: Let the coach … COACH

All is not well on the Gold Coast.

This past Saturday’s 54-0 hammering at the hands of local rivals, the Brisbane Broncos, ended any slim chance that the Titans had of repeating their 2016 heroics of qualifying to play finals footy.

Truth be told, the Titans are worth their 14th places position on the table after failing to produce a consistent level of footy across 22 rounds. Frustratingly, despite a horror injury toll, they have been able to produce some moments of magic, yet have been unable to reproduce that week-in/week-out.

Two wins over reigning premiers the Sharks as well as victory over the Storm in Melbourne shows just what this side can do, but their efforts over the past three weeks have been equally as dreadful.

With an improved playing roster this season, much was expected, and the Titans looked set to lock in a second straight finals appearance, at very least.

Questions have been asked as to why a side with so much talent could possibly be struggling so badly just 12 months later, and fingers are publicly being pointed squarely as coach Neil Henry. Of course injuries have played a huge role, but ultimately there seems to discontent on the holiday strip.

Reports have surfaced over the past day-or-so indicating that Neil Henry was against the marquee signing of Jarryd Hayne, preferring to build a more “balanced” squad, with money being spent evenly across the park.

Hayne’s million dollar-plus contract means a huge chunk of the Titans cap going forward is locked into a player the coach supposedly was not sold on. How that can happen in a professional sporting organisation beggars belief.

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I can’t imagine the Broncos signing any player against the wishes of Wayne Bennett, let alone one who will command a million dollars a season. Craig Bellamy would surely have the final say regarding a signing of such magnitude.

So why not Neil Henry?

After all this is a coach who had the Titans absolutely firing towards a finals birth prior to the Hayne signing. There hadn’t been such a brilliant brand of footy played on the Gold Coast since the likes of Campbell, Rogers and Prince were running around at Skilled.

To blame Hayne’s arrival on the sudden form slump would be lazy and incorrect, but I can’t honestly see how a sporting organisation could take a decision this massive out of the coach’s hands.

Assuming the reports are correct, and there have been rumblings about this for more than a while, the Titans need to make a decision; either let Neil Henry coach the side, or pay him out and put someone else in charge. Someone who is more a figure head and a target of abuse from angry fans following 54-0 drubbings.

There is talk that Henry has supposedly “lost the dressing room”, arguably the single biggest cop out in professional sport. If highly paid “professional” footballers can’t make it work with someone employed to guide them, and produce less than stellar performances as a result, they should find desk jobs.

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I can fully understand the Titans board wanting to sign Hayne for both performance and commercial reasons, but if they in turn purely blame Henry for poor results, then they should load each other into cannons and fire into the sun.

Either a board supports and believes in their coach, or they don’t.

If not, pay Henry out and issue a notice to members stating why Hayne was supposedly signed against the wishes of a man paid to produce results on the field.

Hayne Pain?

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 03: Jarryd Hayne with Titans coach Neil Henry during a press conference at Gold Coast Airport on August 3, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason O’Brien/Getty Images)

Hayne’s signing may have a hugely detrimental effect on the Titans long term recruitment strategy, with Ash Taylor coming off contract. Taylor should be the absolute focus on building a side for the next five-plus seasons, and the Titans financial strength may have been weakened via the Hayne signing.

Straight up, I admit, if I were the Titans, I would have signed Hayne. He’s a game breaker. He is a multiple time Dally M medalist. He’s a freak on the field and a commercial giant off-field. The Titans had to jump at the chance to sign him.

The Broncos are capable of offering Taylor far more impressive third party deals due to their strength in the Brisbane market place, which means the Titans will have to pay up, largely inside their salary cap, to retain their star number seven.

Maybe this has something to do with Henry’s supposed reluctance to sign Hayne … not that he reportedly had a choice.

3 COMMENTS

  1. As a supporter since day dot, this is my opinion.
    Hayne is a cancer. He is the type of bloke that will try and put the blame on other people before himself. He has an attitude problem and he still wishes he could be at Parramatta. He has not bought into the Titans culture of ‘always having a go’, and as a result he does not care about his performance. Why would you when you’re getting paid $1.2?

    Also, if these rumours are about the board are true, then they should be the ones held accountable. Coach Henry had things the way he wanted, and the results were coming through, so why change a winning formula?

    Neil Henry shouldn’t be sacked, but I don’t he should be head coach. He makes some good moves, but also makes some very poor selection choices. He is a great tactician and can bring out the quality in players, but he is not a motivational or passionate coach. Keep him as an assistant, and bring someone like John Cartwright who loved the club and would’ve absolutely blasted the players to the moon and back after that scoreline.

    If anyone has to get sacked, it should be Hayne, tell him he’s free to look elsewhere. If he finds somewhere, then great, we can pay him out $1 mill, and the other club can pay him the rest. Sure, that’s a massive hole in the salary cap for a year, but at least we can say every member of team would be fully committed to the cause.

    Also, if Darryl Kelly had second thoughts after that 54-0 loss, then he bugger off. If you’re not with us through our lowest points, then don’t be with us through our highest which are still yet to come. We’ve been through tough periods, but we always manage to come out alright despite every man and his dog declaring that ‘This crisis will end the Titans’. Yeah well guess what, we’re still here.
    We’ve lost a major sponsor before, we’ll just find another one as we did before.
    We have had major problems before, we’ll fix the major problems as we have done before.

    • First off you say Neil Henry had it how he wanted and results were coming so why change a winning formula, then you call for him to be demoted to assistant coach? Based on your reasons of him being a great tactician and bringing out the quality in players, but Cartwright being more motivational, I would keep Henry as coach and bring Carty back to assist.

      As for Hayne, calling him a cancer is a bit much don’t you think, actually calling anyone that is very disrespectful not only to the person, but to everyone out there who has experienced cancer in their life, either themselves or friends and family. As I said in the Brenton Lawrence article, he is just not a good fit for the Titans with the players they have, mainly the youth. Hayne would kill it at a team like the Roosters, Storm, Broncos, where they have senior leaders and he will just be able to play his game

  2. Problem for you guys is no one wants Hayne.
    Parra are playing like a team and playing for each other and we don’t want Hayne back in the squad.
    Hayne killed his NRL career by going to the NFL. He should look for a big pay packet in the English Super League.
    Then again the Titans were stupid enough to offer him 1.2 million and Hayne did the smart thing by taking up the option on the table as no other club would be stupid enough to give him that kind of money.
    He was worth that 4 years ago but now 350k – 450k tops.
    Unfortunately for the Titans they are stuck with Hayne and there isn’t a thing they can do about it.

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