The two moments that threaten Des Hasler's future at Manly

·Contributor
·3-min read
Manly coach Des Hasler is pictured left, while Manly players are pictured circled standing still as the Bulldogs move to score.
Manly's NRL fadeout against the Bulldogs last weekend has only intensified speculation surrounding coach Des Hasler's future at the club. Pictures: Getty Images/Fox League

There were two moments during Manly's last-round loss to Canterbury – one off field, one on it – that told you everything you need to know about where this fractured club sits.

Jake Trbojevic – the club's leader in spirit, if not actuality – is sitting in the rain at Accor Stadium with his broken right hand in a brace as the cameras flash to him.

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He is riding every moment of the match, intensity, excitement, determination and disappointment written all over his face.

Move ahead to the 76th minute, with Manly leading 20-16, and Matt Burton wins the race to a high kick, tapping the ball back just a few metres out from the Sea Eagles' line.

Several Manly players give up on the play, expecting a knock on to be called.

One turns his back and drops to his haunches, another strolls towards the action with little urgency.

The Dogs score to level up and go on to win the game, condemning the maroon and whites to a seventh straight defeat and a soap opera of an off-season.

You rarely see such a lack of detail attention or desire from a Des Hasler-coached side.

He's built his coaching base around winning such moments in a game.

The little one-percenters, if you want to use an overworked cliché.

Jake Trbojevic doesn't drop off that play and would be into anyone who did.

It's why he is a must at least co-captain the side next year, if not take over from Daly Cherry-Evans.

Des Hasler's NRL future with Manly up for discussion

It will be one of the discussion points when Manly management sit down with Hasler later this week to discuss where to go from here.

Make no mistake about it, some would be happy to see him walk.

This is not all about this year's results or the rainbow jersey fiasco.

It's been brewing longer than that.

There is no great appetite for Hasler to remain beyond 2023 anyway, so the thinking is the Band-Aid should be ripped off now so both parties can get on with life.

Why delay the inevitable, they say?

Manly players look dejected during their NRL clash against Canterbury.
Manly's fadeout to end the season has left coach Des Hasler future with the club in question. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Hasler's stellar coaching record has earned him the right to call the shots to a certain extent, but the days of full-on autonomy are gone.

CEO Tony Mestrov is the new Sheriff in town and everything bar team selection and tactics will be run past him for approval.

He doesn't go looking for a fight but, as an old front-rower, won’t run away from one.

This columnist has heard of some of the non-negotiables put to Hasler and he's not going to like them one bit.

They will erode his powerbase like never before.

He needs to change but can he?

Leopards don’t change their spots and it’s hard to see this old sea eagles agreeing to a new flight path.

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