• Jarryd Hayne has been heavily criticised by Eels great Peter Sterling for his 2017 performance. (AAP)Source: AAP
Former rugby league star and Over the Black Dot panellist Owen Craigie says he hopes to get an invite to the next meeting at a Chinese restaurant and we need to back off on criticising Jarryd Hayne.
By
Owen Craigie

Source:
Over the Black Dot
16 Aug 2017 - 3:49 PM  UPDATED 16 Aug 2017 - 3:49 PM

I announced on our footy show last week there was a bit of tension in the Titans club, and coach Neil Henry.

From my knowledge, I don’t think it’s just Jarryd Hayne, I think there’s a few players there that are not happy with the coaching at the moment, with the results that they’re getting.

I think it’s come to the stage now that if Neil Henry stays, which players choose to leave and sign with other clubs? Or if he goes, what players re-sign with the club for long term?

I’m not sure how we’ve got to the thought that it’s all Jarryd Hayne’s fault.

With Jarryd Hayne, obviously you’ve got a big image and a big personality and it’s alright to point the finger at certain things but you know when you’re a coach getting paid big money, you’re paid to juggle personalities.

And if some coaches can’t do that, then they shouldn’t be in the game. They’re getting paid big money just like the players as well. So it’s not just all the players’ fault.

You’re paid to juggle different people, because all individuals are different. This is why Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy are super coaches. Because they’re not just coaches, they manage behaviours of players and create this culture.

And if some coaches can’t do that, then they shouldn’t be in the game. They’re getting paid big money just like the players as well. So it’s not just all the players’ fault.

People can say ‘Jarryd Hayne’s a coach killer’ - that’s the easy option. What about Neil Henry? He’s gettin paid big bucks as well and part of your coaching role, your job description, is to manage players’ behaviours and attitudes.

Because you’ve gotta have your marquee players, you’ve gotta.

But a lot of these blokes would love to be in Jarryd Hayne’s position and have his ability.

I’ve been reading articles and seeing some things online about Jarryd Hayne and they’re giving it to the poor bloke. At the end of the day, we’ve got to remember Australia’s tall poppy syndrome.

So we’ve got people in the media who just wanna bag the poor kid out and say he’s finished, get rid of him. But a lot of these blokes would love to be in Jarryd Hayne’s position and have his ability.

The kid can still play. He can still play and it would be great to have him at Newcastle, or wherever else. But he’s still got a long way to go left and he’s proven in the Origin this year and people are always gonna have their opinions, just like people have their opinions on me.

Some of these coaches and clubs should take a leaf out of Wayne Bennet and Craig Bellamy’s coaching manual. You look at the two greatest clubs in rugby league history, success wise and premiership wise – Melbourne Storm and the Broncos. Guess who Craig Bellamy’s mentor was for 10 years? Wayne Bennett.

So obviously they’re doin something right and every club Wayne Bennett’s had success at, bar Newcastle.

But at the end of the day, you’re looking at a Brisbane-Storm grand final this year. And it comes down to the coaching – if the top is shit, the bottom is terrible.

For the Titans, managing these distractions they’ve got would be very hard.

It’d be very hard because if they don’t manage it and get it sorted, sponsors will walk away. And they’ve got to go back and rebuild the club from ground up again.

And if sponsors walk away, the hard thing to do is lure sponsors back because you’ve got payers and a coach that are not getting along, they’re not getting results, they’re not winning. So people don’t want to be associated with a losing culture, especially if you’re going to put millions of dollars in the sponsorships. It would be very, very hard to be in that position.

It’s been a bit of a mess for a lot of years. You go back to the old Super League – ARL war, that was a circus.

All of this though continues the rugby league circus. And of all the sports in the world, it just seems to be rugby league.

We’ve got meetings of club heads at Chinese restaurants and clubs potentially having to put most of their playing lists up for sale due to salary cap issues.

It’s been a bit of a mess for a lot of years. You go back to the old Super League – ARL war, that was a circus.

You go back to now players wanting to boycott the Dally Ms, but there’s always something happening in our circles and I don’t know what it takes to get it right. I know that the players do deserve to receive what they’re asking for considering how they put their bodies on the line and how much time they spend away from their families and how much time and effort they invest into the game.

I think the supporters deserve to have a good competition to keep growing and growing but it just seems to be a constant circus.

And at the end of the day I don’t know what it’s gonna take, but I want them to invite me to the next Chinese Restaurant meeting.

To hear more from Owen Craigie and for all of your rugby league news, tune in to Over the Black Dot on NITV at 9.30pm each Wednesday.