Hasler wallops Fifita with noodles to get Titans firing

Joel Gould |

Gold Coast outside back Jojo Fifita is warming up under Des Hasler’s coaching.
Gold Coast outside back Jojo Fifita is warming up under Des Hasler’s coaching.

Gold Coast winger Jojo Fifita credits an old-fashioned thrashing with swimming pool noodles by Des Hasler and a heart-to-heart with the coach for lifting him to greater heights.

The 21-year-old was at his best in the 20-18 gritty win over North Queensland on Sunday when he ran for 156m, scored a try and defused multiple bombs. 

The Titans have won two of their past five games and lost the others by four points or less to be just four points outside the top eight ahead of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle in Magic Round in Brisbane.

Fifita, speaking after a starring role in the win over the Cowboys, explained what he admired about Hasler’s training methods. 

“He’s been bringing out the pool noodles and hitting us when we are jumping up for the high balls at training. Training is a bit different but it is good for a change,” Fifita said.

“He will go for your head, go for your body and go for your bum. It is anywhere. It is pretty good. 

“He is pretty much swinging a baseball bat when he is trying to hit us. He is trying to hurt us but it is definitely a good change.”

Fifita was left out of the NRL side early in the season but said he knew why.

“It was a bit hard at the start in those first couple of weeks but (Hasler) told me that I was on the edge and that if I kept working on what I needed my time would come,” Fifita said.

“Des has done really well and helped me with my defence which was the main target I needed to fix. He said my carries were good but I just needed to read the plays a bit better, but that just comes with experience at times.”

Hasler is a coach of the old-school mould, but that agrees with Fifita when it comes to making improvements in his game.

“He can be specific or pretty broad on how he wants you to fix it. When you play around with it at training and he likes it then you know you are on the right track,” Fifita said.

The Southport School product, like dual international and Titans legend Mat Rogers, was just happy to get over the line against the Cowboys.

 “I am a Gold Coast boy all the way,” Fifita grinned

“That was my first try of the year and hopefully there are many more to come.”