Gone are the days when Rugby League or any other sport was just sport, it is now a result driven business where it affects the life of the people involved. Coaches in the NRL feel probably more pressure in their jobs more than any other sport because it seems the players and the player’s managers have more say then a Rugby League club board.
Clubs should trust the coach they have recruited to the job. Players should work, listen, play to the best of their abilities and a coach’s tactics should never come into question. When Tigers Coach Jason Taylor was sacked three games into the season with a record of one win, two loses; everyone in the game stood up and took notice. Was it the board that made that decision or did it come from within the playing group?
Coaches do their best to shelter his players from negativity in the paper to dealing with late night shenanigans and having a shoulder to cry on when a player is feeling overwhelmed. Where is the credit, the duty of care, and a pat on the back for the coach? The answer is it doesn’t happen – players are very quick to point fingers and pass the blame to their mentor instead of owning up to a miss tackle which led to a try.
It makes no sense when in the off-season, the players have been getting taught the style they will play and come out and get beaten by forty. Will the players ever be at fault or get blamed?
The late Jack Gibson said, “winning starts in the front office.” Jason Taylor was doomed when he began his tenure. The West Tigers board put policies in place where it seems every coach that entered was going to fail. It wouldn’t have mattered if it were Craig Bellamy or Wayne Bennett, they were going to fail.
With a sprinkle of talent at his disposal, the fact remains that the board are so dysfunctional and delusional that Jason Taylor was walking straight pass the doors of inspiration in his own preparation to find hell. Every coach that has a contract should never get sacked, it should be honoured and players should respect that.
In the twenty-five years that I have watched this sport, this is the worst sacking I have seen. There is no doubt in my mind it come from the players. No player ever – whether that be Andrew Johns or an up and comer – should have the power to make or have anything to do with someone getting sacked. There is just no rhyme or reason why a coach should only last three games.
I will leave you with one last thought… The coach leads by example, dedication and determination, teaches teamwork, motivates and listens, build character, challenges and develops, committed to the team, the players biggest fan… Now ask yourself this – Is the player this committed?
If you want to hear more of my thoughts check out my Rugby League show on YouTube called Shut The Gates. Myself and two other friends discuss all the big issues in Rugby League on and off the field. Watch below…