Hasler ready for Manly visit, but one topic off limits

Joel Gould |

Titans coach Des Hasler has refused to speak about his bitter court case with Manly.
Titans coach Des Hasler has refused to speak about his bitter court case with Manly.

Des Hasler has addressed the prospect of coaching against his former club Manly, his “blowup” with Ricky Stuart and the challenge facing Gold Coast after five consecutive losses to start the season.

The only topic off-limits at his press conference on Friday was the bitter court case he has with the Sea Eagles that is now before the NSW Supreme Court. 

Titans coach Hasler made it clear that for legal reasons he would not answer questions on the Manly fallout. 

The Sea Eagles have offered Hasler a $565,000 settlement after they sacked him in 2022 two years before his contract expired, but he wants double that.

The 63-year-old won two premierships as a coach and one as a player at the Sea Eagles, who he will coach against at the Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night.

Titans coach Des Hasler.
Titans coach Hasler insists he holds no advantage from his inside knowledge of Manly’s stars. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

“It is great memories and fond memories, something you will always cherish,” Hasler said of his Manly success.

“You lean back and remember the experience (but) I am pretty excited about the prospects here at the Titans.” 

Hasler disputed he had the inside scoop on how to stop Manly, having coached many of their stars, but did offer a method for nullifying star Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic.

“Don’t give him the ball,” Hasler quipped.

As for coaching against Manly having “more meaning”, Hasler was emphatic.

“If you look at the way we’ve started, a win is the biggest meaning at the moment. Manly have been playing pretty good footy,” he said.

“The concentration is (on) what we can control and what we need to do better as a team. 

“We took a lot out of last week. If you are a footy tragic, when you break it down there were some good signs there.”

The Titans lost 21-20 in golden point last Sunday to Canberra in controversial circumstances.

The NRL subsequently agreed the Titans should have received an 87th-minute penalty from in front to go ahead when Raiders fullback Chevy Stewart was offside while charging down a Kieran Foran field-goal attempt.

Action from Canberra Raiders vs Gold Coast Titans.
There was plenty of fallout from Sunday’s Raiders-Titans clash. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Hasler disputed that costly miss post-game and also took umbrage at the 10-1 set restart count against his side.

NRL head of elite football Graham Annesley conceded Hasler was right on the penalty but said independent statistics revealed the Titans could have been penalised more often for being offside.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said Hasler was “on another planet” for his gripes and accused the Titans of cheating in the ruck.

A smiling Hasler on Friday insisted there was nothing in the spat.

“That was the biggest gee-up ever. We played them off a break there. We are still laughing about it,” he said.

Hasler confirmed fullback Phil Sami failed a fitness test on Thursday and would miss the Sea Eagles clash.

With first choice fullback Jayden Campbell (knee) also injured, the coach has moved AJ Brimson from the halves to his favoured No.1 position. Tanah Boyd, dropped last week, returns to partner Kieran Foran in the halves.

AAP