‘We’re still laughing about it’: Hasler denies Ricky feud amid ‘biggest gee-up’ (2024)

Titans coach Des Hasler has rubbished suggestions of a heated argument with Raiders counterpart Ricky Stuart after Canberra’s Round 6 win over the Gold Coast.

As he prepared for his first clash as Titans coach against his old club Manly in Round 7, Hasler laughed off his reported feud with Stuart.

“Nothing that was the biggest gee-up ever, we played them off a break there,” Hasler said when asked what happened with Stuart in the dressing rooms.

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Robbo's ALL-TIME blowup at ref decisions | 06:41

“Nothing happened there, nothing at all. We’re still laughing about it and we laughed about it on Monday morning.”

Hasler was pressed on the lopsided penalty count after Graham Annesley said the Titans should have been penalised even more than they were.

“It was 28 but anyway 32 is close enough,” Hasler said of the penalty count.

“Oh no I think there were only four ruck infringements so we just had one of those nights I guess, but at the end of the day it was all vindicated.”

Hasler was asked if this was the hardest period in his coaching career as the Titans sit winless heading into Round 7 and second last on the ladder.

“Oh well yeah at the moment like I think rugby league, you ask any coach it’s always challenging,” Hasler said.

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“It’s always going to have its challenges, you know human beings are challenging.”

Hasler was asked about his emotions coming up against the club he won titles with as a player and a coach, but preferred to focus on building the Titans into a premiership force.

“That is some of the great memories, fond memories, and something that you’ll always cherish for a long time,” Hasler said.

“But also, you know, you lean back and you remember the experience and I’m pretty excited about the prospects here at the Titans.

“And we’re moving towards that venture and that’s our aim to first of all, make the Titans club very competitive. And then we’ll build from there.”

However, he denied there would be any extra meaning in beating Manly.

“Well, if you look at the way we started, a win’s the biggest meaning for us at the moment,” Hasler said.

Hasler looking for win against Manly | 01:27

“And Manly have been playing pretty good footy. They’ve been pretty consistent.

“They’ve got genuine threats across the park. So probably for us, the concentration is still about what we can control and what we need to do better as a team.

“Believe it or not, we took a lot out of last week. And if you’re a footy tragic when you break it down, there were good signs there.”

Hasler denied having any advantage in coming up against his old Manly players.

“I don’t think I have any advantage, me knowing those players at all,” Hasler said.

But he had a plan for superstar Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic.

“Don’t give him the ball,” Hasler joked.

Hasler conceded the Titans are dealing with a tough run of injuries with Phillip Sami ruled out the clash with Manly forcing a reshuffle with their backline.

“Phil failed a fitness test yesterday, so we’ll play around that this morning,” Hasler said.

“A lot of injuries here. We’ve had our fair share, but you’d have to say that’s been the case across the broader spectrum.”

What happened between Des and Ricky? | 01:48

Hasler was asked about AJ Brimson’s best position given he could find himself at fullback this week.

“AJ is just a footy player we’re pretty fortunate to be able to draw on that experience and draw on that footy IQ,” Hasler said.

“We will see (where he plays this week).”

Hasler was asked about his reasons for dropping Tanah Boyd, who may come back into calculations if Brimson switches to fullback.

“He had to go back and work on a few areas of his game,” Hasler said.

“He understands that. He played particularly well last week. We’ll see how he responds.”

Hasler was pressed on whether Boyd can be the club’s long-term halfback.

“Yeah, definitely,” Hasler said.

“The predicament we are in at the moment, you can’t place on Tanah Boyd.”

Hasler explained his reasoning for playing David Fifita off the bench against the Raiders.

“It’s probably because I know we kind of knew where Canberra would go and we’re still managing his time and his minutes and best how to utilize someone like Dave given the fact that he had no pre-season,” Hasler said.

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“So we’re getting him involved and trying to use him in the best way we possibly can with his natural talents, but it won’t be long before he may be starting full-time.”

Hasler identified the areas the Titans still need to improve due to the way the game is being officiated.

“It is what it is against Canberra, you’ve got to take the good with the bad, but I’ve been on the record a couple of times saying what we need to address particularly around the way the game’s been played at the moment,” Hasler explained.
“The way the game is being won at the moment it’s all based around possession and we haven’t been good at that.”

‘We’re still laughing about it’: Hasler denies Ricky feud amid ‘biggest gee-up’ (2024)

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