Des Hasler in eye-opening Titans press conference act ahead of NRL season

The Titans coach is renowned for some of the more bizarre press conference moments in the NRL.

Gold Coast coach Des Hasler left one NRL reporter dumbfounded after abruptly calling an end to a press conference. Pic: Getty/Nine
Gold Coast coach Des Hasler left one NRL reporter dumbfounded after abruptly calling an end to a press conference. Pic: Getty/Nine

Welcome to our world. Sydney-based journalists know only too well the eccentricities of NRL premiership-winning coach Des Hasler when it comes to press conferences. There's wise-cracking Des, deep and meaningful Des, left-field-thinking Des, philosopher Des, antagonistic Des, playful Des and outright strange Des.

He's been known to quote Mahatma Gandhi, channel Voldemort and deny it's his birthday on the day of his actual birthday. He once asked a reporter if he'd "just got out of journalism school" after taking exception to a question and took up three minutes discussing another journo's choice in shoes.

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You never know which of his many personalities will emerge when the "Mad Scientist" fronts the cameras. The only thing you know for sure is Hasler, being a control freak, will remain with his hand firmly on the tiller and quickly shut things down when he's had enough.

This is a lesson the Queensland media is quickly learning since the former Manly and Canterbury coach landed on the Gold Coast as boss of the Titans. Hasler, as is his way, has said very little over the off-season as he quietly goes about reviving one the NRL's great underachievers.

He hadn't conducted a single media session since November 3. But now trials have begun, the veteran coach is reluctantly forced to speak publicly.

Des Hasler ends press conference in bizarre scenes

And he's already made it clear he won't be changing old ways. Up before the press ahead of the Titans' hit out against the Dolphins on Sunday, Hasler answered a series of questions before abruptly calling it quits after about five minutes.

"On that note we’re finished,” he said. A stunned reporter replied: "Are you serious? We're not finished." Hasler: "Yeah, we’re finished. I’m done. That’s enough. That’ll do." Reporter: "Why?"

Hasler's former representative teammate – and SEN/Fox League commentator – Greg Alexander said with a laugh: "We missed Dessie last year. I didn't realise how much until I heard this little bit of audio from Channel 9.

Seen here, Des Hasler at training with the Gold Coast Titans.
Des Hasler is seen here at training with the Gold Coast Titans before the start of the 2024 NRL season. Pic: Getty

"He just left them hanging. It's a perfect example of you don't know what you've got til it’s gone." The Titans finished 14th last year and have only made the top eight once in the past seven seasons.

Hasler, who won two premierships at Manly and has coached 458 NRL games, has been brought in to instil a more ruthless mentality. The 63-year-old sat out last season following his acrimonious departure from the Sea Eagles in 2022.

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