All NRL players have been told off by their coaches at some point but when Manly loses by a decent sum – Sea Eagles players know what’s coming from coach Des Hasler.
Famous for his animated speeches in the dressing rooms, Hasler has never been afraid to call players out for under-performing in front of the cameras stationed in the sheds by the host broadcaster.
While “flying under the radar” and acting coy is part of his MO when dealing with the media, Hasler lets fly behind closed doors.
In 2010, Manly threatened to shut out the media from their dressing rooms after vision emerged of Hasler losing it at his team at Parramatta stadium.The Sea Eagles had just gone down to the Eels 24-20 and the vision showed a fuming Hasler yelling at his players before tearing a door from its frame.
Skipper Jamie Lyon was sitting closest to the door and put his hand up to protect himself as the door fell down completely off its hinges, leaning loosely against its frame.
Manly cried foul over a breach of privacy and Hasler was left embarrassed by the situation and ended up paying for the damage.
So when Cronulla thumped the Sea Eagles 40-22 in Gosford last round to score their third win over the club in 12 years, it was quite plausible to think that Hasler was going to rip his players “Parra-style”, considering the defensive effort they put in to leak the sizeable total after trailing 18-6 at halftime.
According to winger Jorge Taufua, Hasler was peeved big time, and let his team know the performance “wasn’t acceptable” but the door-frame was intact when the team left the sheds.
“It was a good spray,” Taufua admitted.
“The door stayed on the hinges this time but it definitely was a good one but hopefully we keep him a bit more calm this week.
“He’s very passionate Des, so yeah he let us know that 40 points just wasn’t good enough.
Why Hasler is blowing up
“You kind of block your ears, he’s really loud. But I quite enjoy it I’m not too sure if it scares quite a few of the other boys. He definitely lets us know. He has his own way. He’s special like that.”
Hasler, a former high school teacher, has strange quirks that often give players and media members a bit of a chuckle. His delivery and style is so unique that Taufua says he doesn’t know when Hasler is joking and when he’s not.
“I do find it hard not to laugh,” he said.
“When he’s not spraying us – when he tells a joke it feels like it’s an aggressive joke or it’s a like spray so I’m not too sure whether to laugh at those but definitely not laughing when I know he’s angry.”
Hasler has teed off on the NRL several times during his coaching career, calling them out for everything from the State of Origin schedule to referees’ calls.
A furious Hasler was caught on camera blowing up in a heated phone call in the Sea Eagles sheds immediately after last year’s semi final loss to South Sydney.
The coach was left fuming at the referee’s decision to sin-bin Jake Trbojevic in the dying stages. Nine cameras captured the vision and it was later revealed he was walking around saying: “Where’s Graham Annesley?” before blowing up at the NRL’s head of Football on the phone.
The Sea Eagles face Newcastle this weekend and are in danger of dropping out of the top eight with a loss, if South Sydney can beat Canterbury on Sunday.
Manly face the Dragons, Eels then the Cowboys in the coming weeks.