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.