SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Knights coach Nathan Brown talks to the media after the round 23 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Nathan Brown has become the latest coach to pay the price for his team's underwhelming 2019 season.

He joins former Titans boss Garth Brennan as coaches ousted in 2019.

With a few fancied sides about to miss out on finals footy, you get the feeling that we haven't seen the end of the coaching carnage just yet.

Paul McGregor is being targeted by fans, while Paul Green's position has come under intense scrutiny. Dean Pay looked like a dead man walking until his team's form lifted over the past month.

Anthony Seibold will face questions, although I can't see him being removed from his post, should the star studded Broncos miss finals footy.

It has become the NRL's quick fix. The side's playing badly? Sack the coach.

Missed the finals on points differential? Coach is gone!

The team's star player injured and out for the season? Oh, you better believe the coach is OUT!

Dont get me wrong, after putting together a brilliant roster, Nathan Brown has simply not delivered. This side should have made the finals with comfort.

They're still very much in the running but with names like Ponga and Pearce in key positions, there really is no excuse for not playing into mid-September at the earliest.

Up north though, Garth Brennan paid the price for one of the most awful NRL sides in recent memory.

Although he failed to utilise Tyrone Peachey in a positive way and his use of young Brimson has boarded on criminally bad, I don't think even Wayne Bennett or Craig Bellamy could have lifted that Titans outfit above a bottom four finish.

I fully back the club's decision to appoint Justin Holbrook, but on its own, it feels like an attempt at a quick fix.

Brennan wasn't the one out there missing tackles, kicking out on the full or getting monstered in the middle of the park.

That Titans roster will need a massive overhaul or the side is going to be anything but fodder next season. Good luck young Holbrook, you'll need it.

Manly have proven that a good coach can reshape a side. They were awful in 2018. AWFUL.

Step in the returning Des Hasler and suddenly they're looking like top four certainties. This is despite minimal movement roster-wise. I'd argue they probably got worse, on paper, if anything.

Hasler re-energised the squad and has them playing for the jersey. That is amazing.

It's worth remembering though that the very same Des Hasler was walked out of Belmore in near disgrace after turning a top four club into a below average side.

Daly Cherry Evans and Tommy Turbo are lighting up the competition while Reynolds and Mbye were directed not to kick on the fifth tackle through fear of giving away seven tackle sets.

It's not always about the coach.

I'm worried that the Titans will book Grand Final tickets next year based on an incoming coach with success in the Super League.

Again, I'm a huge fan of the Holbrook appointment and hope he and the Titans succeed, but there are much bigger issues at play on the holiday strip and it may get worse before it gets better.

A coach can make a world of difference but clubs are kidding themselves if they believe a new coach is the quick fix.

The Panthers and Broncos both moved heaven and earth to bring in new coaches believing that would take them to title glory.

Neither side will finish higher than they did under unwanted mentors in 2018 and at least one will miss the finals.

For the record, I think both Newcastle and the Titans have made the right decision to move on but it's not always an easy quick fix.


  1. No offence, but Penrith’s main problems have been player retention , recruitment & overpaying those at the club.
    Who keeps Dean Whare for $400,000 per year when he’s been useless for years? Josh Mansour for $500,000 a year? Again slow & can’t jump for bombs. He’s not worth half of that & they could have kept Sivo for way less. RCG kept for nearly a mil per season? No way!!! They’ve let go way over 30 first graders in the last 3 years. DWZ , Blake during this season. Harawira-Naera looks pretty good at the dogs. Was signed up for years at Penrith.
    Any major buys other than Maloney? They’ve also had a problem at hooker , after letting Koroisau go to Manly.
    So give some sympathy to I.Cleary. They’ve not bought a full team of first graders like Newcastle & the Titans over the last couple of years.

  2. They say sometimes a good roster makes a good coach but at the same time there are those clubs that expect more than what a roster is capable of and hence point the finger in the wrong direction.

  3. I feel your pain EastOfDiv,
    Gould would have had a lot to do with this player movement… when he ‘left’ Easts he left a unsavoury trail..
    How much of Cleary in those culling decisions … who knows? was he tipped off by Nathan…. they’ve let some good players go..
    Clubs can’t succeed unless all is well in the wheelhouse …
    Clubs can’t afford to keep players based on sentiment. Every player has a ‘used by’ date, as ruthless as it sounds.

  4. I absolutely agree with you TwentyOne. .
    Penrith didn’t have the roster to win a premiership, at any stage. Despite Peter Stirlings comments.
    Add in the May video saga.
    The Titans certainly didn’t & Newcastle’s not quite there despite the spend.
    I think St.George’s forwards at their best is right up there. They showed it against Brisbane in a finals game last year. They’ve still struggled with the halves especially . Perhaps at fullback as well.
    Then they had the De Belin thing to overcome.
    If everything comes out of your halvesin attack, plus fullback & hooker. Clearly those sides have struggled in those areas.
    Ditto for the Cowboys.
    So, not a lot a coach can do if he’s not got the cattle.

  5. EDSybil
    What to Look Forward to in Round 1
    Do you recall these posts EDSybil under your original nic?
    WoodChoook February 23, 2019 at 11:02 pm
    “Can’t wait to see Souffs get rolled by the Premiership winning World Champions” WRONG
    Back2back19 February 24, 2019 at 5:13 am
    “It will be good to see Souths start 2019 the way they finished 2018.” WRONG

    Well, one is thankfully gone whilst the other (EDSybil5) has continued with around 15% correct predictions for the season to now and on track to finish the season the way she started.
    Didn’t blame the coach that day, apparently it was the weather that cost the roosters victory.

Comments are closed.