The Gold Coast Titans are struggling off the field, with the NRL now owning the besieged rugby league club, and have been struggling consistently on the field since their inception to the National Rugby League (NRL) back in 2007, having reached the finals in only three out of their 11 years in the competition, including this year.
To put this into perspective, out of the eight clubs that have been introduced into the competition since 1988, and are still in the competition (Brisbane Broncos, Newcastle Knights, New Zealand Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys, Melbourne Storm, St George Illawarra Dragons, Wests Tigers, and the Gold Coast Titans), only the Cowboys and the Tigers boast worse records than the Titans in terms of making the finals (twice) during their first 11 years in the competition, but both of those two teams had made a grand final in that time, and in the case of the Tigers, won a premiership within that time.
The closest comparison to the Titans as far as this stat is concerned is the only other current team in the NRL that has not won a premiership, which is the Warriors, who made the finals in three of their first 11 years in the competition. However, unlike the Titans, the Warriors were able to make one grand final back in 2002, and won the minor premiership in the same season after the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs were stripped of 37 competition points due to massive salary cap breaches.
Excluding the Titans, all the other seven clubs introduced into the competition since 1988, and are still in the competition, have either won at least one premiership (Broncos, Knights, Storm, and Tigers), or have made a grand final (Warriors, Cowboys, and Dragons) in their first 11 years in the competition.
The best result the Titans have achieved is a preliminary final back in 2010, but have finished inside the top four twice at the end of a regular season (2009, and 2010).
However, the major problem that the Gold Coast Titans have right now surrounds star player Jarryd Hayne, and head coach Neil Henry.
Hayne has been criticised by many people, mostly those that are outside of the club, for his supposed lack of work ethic, professionalism, and dedication to the task at hand.
Henry, although praised from outside the club for his approach to coaching, has been criticised by members the playing group for his super hard-lined stance to training, but most importantly, for his failure to handle the naturally precocious, but insecure man that is Hayne.
While there is no doubt a number of players have dropped their own bundle since Hayne joined the club, expecting him to take them to the land of glory without them having to do all the hard work expected of them, and while those players should be found out, and have their controlling colours at the club significantly lowered, it is the debate over whether Hayne has to leave or Henry needs to be sacked that is engulfing the club, and engulfing the game.
Looking at the career of Jarryd Hayne, he has achieved everything that you could achieve, without winning a premiership, representing Australia on 11 occasions, and Fiji on four. Hayne helped Fiji to the 2008 Rugby League World Cup semi-finals, and Australia to win the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
He has also represented New South Wales on 23 occasions, including helping the Blues to a State Of Origin series victory in 2014.
However, it is his club record that most point to describe their gripe about the gifted enigma they see in Jarryd Hayne.
Hayne has played 197 first grade games in NRL, scoring 111 tries, with an average of 13.52 tries per 24 matches, and if you take away the six matches he played at the end of 2016 after joining the Titans mid-season, Hayne has scored 111 tries in 191 NRL matches, an average of 13.94 tries per 24 matches.
However, Hayne has scored 10 tries or more in five of his 11 seasons as an NRL player, including scoring 14 tries or more in three of his 11 seasons as an NRL player, which were incidentally the seasons where his team, in each of those instances the Parramatta Eels, won at least 10 matches in a season.
However, when you look deeper into the statistics of Jarryd Hayne, you will find it very hard to fault his commitment and dedication to the game of rugby league.
The mind blowing try-scoring stats of Jarryd Hayne (per 24 NRL matches)
As you can see in the image above, Hayne has scored 10 tries or more in seven of the eight complete 24 match blocks in his NRL career, a remarkable statistic!
However, what is even more remarkable is that his try-scoring statistic in the fourth block of 24 games, his weakest block in terms of try-scoring in his NRL career, where he only scored six tries, was back when the Parramatta Eels made the 2009 NRL Grand Final!
The first 13 matches of that fourth block were the last 13 matches Hayne played in 2009, where he scored five tries, and the only match he missed during that time was Round 18 against the Gold Coast Titans, when he was unavailable due to State Of Origin commitments.
In those 13 matches that Hayne played at the back-end of the 2009 season, the Eels won 10 of those 13 matches, and no one was complaining about his lack of try-scoring productivity back then, back when he was supposedly at his very best.
And while some people will break down my statistics and say that Hayne was selfish in a number of those 24 match blocks, and not allowing his teammates some time to shine, but in four of the seven blocks where he has scored 10 or more tries, his team has won 10 or more matches.
Looking at these stats, you cannot say that Jarryd Hayne was a selfish player, or a player that destroyed a team culture, or a player that was a coach-killer. In fact, the stats prove that Hayne is one of the most consistent and best players in the NRL today, but hasn’t had the players around him to take his team to glory.
He is also a player who wants to improve his skills, as shown in his move to the National Football League (NFL) to play with the San Francisco 49ers.
The stats don’t lie!
As don’t the stats of Titans coach Neil Henry, who has only coached a team to a finals appearance on five occasions in 10 full seasons as an NRL coach (11 seasons if you count the first four matches he coached the Gold Coast Titans at the end of 2014), and the teams that he has coached have finished in the bottom four positions on the competition ladder on four occasions (five occasions if you count the first four matches he coached the Gold Coast Titans at the end of 2014).
Henry has only won 108 of the 247 matches in his NRL coaching career, with a 43.7 winning percentage. However, he has won only 28 of the 75 matches he has coached at the Titans, with only a 37.3 winning percentage.
And, considering that when a Neil Henry-coached team has made the NRL Finals that none of them have made it through to a preliminary final, you would have to say that the evidence is strong that he is not a coach capable of coaching a winning premiership club.
He has shown previously that he has struggled to manage big name players, such as Johnathan Thurston, and has struggled to adapt his coaching methods to suit players of all different shapes, sizes, and abilities.
People like this will always fail in the end, and while someone like Jarryd Hayne might get the sack in another industry, the person who deserves to be sacked is actually Neil Henry, and that is the way it should be!
As for a replacement for Neil Henry as the coach of the Gold Coast Titans, many people are mentioning the name of Garth Brennan to become their new coach, and I think he deserves to be their new coach.
Back in 2010/2011 when I was in Year 11/12 at Francis Greenway High School, my Society and Culture teacher mentioned his name as a future NRL coach, and Brennan has done a long apprenticeship in the lower ranks, and with a lack of other suitable candidates around, he is the man most fit for the job of handling Jarryd Hayne and the Gold Coast Titans.