Hayne’s dream of NRL return has been nothing but a nightmare for the Titans!
Jaryd Hayne’s time at the Gold Coast could soon be coming to an end with constant speculation surrounding the future of the star player and his current coach Neil Henry. Rather than leave because he is not wanted, as Hayne has said he will do in the press this week, he needs to instead take on some responsibility at the club and become a player that they cannot afford to lose. If he can not buy into the team culture, the Titans need to cut ties with their million dollar man and allow him to pursue to next dream that he may have.
Flashback to 2016. After trying his hand in the NFL and a short stint with the Fijian Rugby Sevens side, Jaryd Hayne announced his intentions to return to the NRL. After receiving a number of offers, Hayne signed with the Titans. At his introductory press conference, the man with the million dollar contract, the man who was to be the star of the Titans, did not speak glowingly about the situation he would be walking into.
Instead he appeared upset and distraught even saying that he was disappointed that he was not offered a contract by the Eels. As far as first date mistakes go, talking about your ex would be a massive one and might have been the first sign of rocky times ahead for Hayne and the Titans.
Comeback to the present day and this disappointment still seems evident in Hayne. His body language and comments in the media remind me of a school child being given a strawberry donut when he really wanted a chocolate one. He needs to be more thankful for what he has rather than constantly looking for other situations.
Jaryd has been given the opportunity to lead a group of young talented players to success in the NRL. Instead of doing this, he has spent the year showing flashes of individual brilliance but rarely contributing the little things that help his team succeed. The Titans can not afford to allow their star player to continue to play selfish football and need him to get on board with the current program or cut him loose.
It is unfair to to blame all of the Titans woes on one man. Neil Henry is the other factor involved in the toxic situation on the glitter strip. Henry has a proven track record in the NRL with successful stints in Canberra, North Queensland as well as being a vital member of the Queensland Origin coaching staff during their impressive run. However, he does have a tendency to clash with his star players with a strained relationship with Jonathon Thurston being a key reason in his demise at the Cowboys.
The difference here is that JT was a consistent performer whereas Jaryd Hayne is as hot and cold as a broken thermostat. Henry is within his rights to hold Hayne to a higher standard as this is a man eating up the majority of the teams salary cap.
The Titans have not been under more scrutiny then they are at the current moment. Leading up to their latest game, a loss to the Parramatta Eels on Thursday night, stories were coming out daily about unrest from the players on the Coast. Ashley Taylor and Kane Elgey were claimed to have said that if Henry was kept as coach they would both leave. Ryan James, the Titans captain, was visibly angry in the press conference after the match saying the the stories in the week were BS and that the team had two young blokes shaken. Could this be Hayne using his influence in the media to drum up negative press for the man who is holding him accountable?
Whatever the Titans board decide to do, whether to keep Henry at the helm or pledge their future to Hayne, it could have massive ramifications for the club’s short term and long term future. In 2016, the club had established themselves as a tough and gritty football side who had many good times ahead. This year, things could not be worse with the piling up of losses and off-field turmoil derailing the season.
If Hayne stays at the club, it needs to be because Neil Henry and the club want him to. He either buys in or the club needs to buy him out. Letting Jaryd Hayne have the most influence at the club is a massive mistake.
For the Titans to have future success, the Hayne Plane’s ego needs to be grounded and the sky will be the limit for the team’s future potential.