Show me a coach that has survived four seasons in the NRL with a 37% win ratio and then maybe I will start to feel sorry for former Titans coach Neil Henry.
It just doesn’t happen.
As a head coach, you either win or you are shown the door.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Having said that, Henry was not the root cause of the Titans’ troubles, merely an amplifier of it.
Nor is Jarryd Hayne to blame.
Blaming the ego of Jarryd Hayne may be a convenient option for some (and absolute gold for the media) but anyone who has a hard look at Henry’s coaching record at the Titans will have no illusions as to why he has been moved on this season.
When you are winning just over a third of your games across four seasons in the national competition, questions must be asked at board level.
Particularly if that ratio doesn’t improve when the list is perceived to have been considerably strengthened.
In fact, it dropped.
The Titans have won just seven of their 22 games this season, a ratio of just 31%.
So despite the addition of top-end talent (Kevin Proctor, Nathan Peats, Jarrod Wallace and Jarryd Hayne – all Origin and/or International footballers), as well as the natural progression of two young halves, Henry’s Titans went backwards in the win/loss column in 2017.
That column is all that matters in football and it is the reason the Titans’ board quite rightly had to act.
Just as Henry was moved on from the Raiders where his 49 games yielded just 22 wins (45%).
Presumably it was also the reason the Cowboys opted for Paul Green to replace Henry in 2014 after five seasons at the helm.
His record at the Cowboys was 124 games coached for 59 wins (48%).
Not exactly world-beating statistics are they?
Which is strange because all I hear from the media and from people I speak with is how competent Henry is.
And therein lies the real problem at the Titans.
37% is a fail no matter how you slice it, yet Henry is thought of fondly at the club and by fans for having done a solid/good enough job.
Even in the media he is spoken about in positive terms.
Ask yourself would a coach at the Sydney Roosters or Brisbane Broncos be thought of as having done a good job if they went at 37% over four seasons?
The biggest issue at the Titans is not injuries or off-field dramas, not Hayne nor even Henry – it is the systemic celebration of mediocrity from board room to household fan.
Always has been.
You can’t deliver excellence until you demand it and unfortunately for Gold Coast football, the mindset at the Titans is still one of ‘happy to just be existing’, as opposed to wanting to conquer the footy world.