Coach Trent Robinson declared that embattled youngster Jackson Hastings continues to have a future at Sydney Roosters, after leading the NRL club to just their third win over the season over Wests Tigers.
The future of Hastings, son of Roosters legend Kevin, has been the source of constant speculation since he was dumped to reserve grade three weeks ago, amid talk the 20-year-old had had a falling out with Robinson.
Tigers playmaker Mitchell Moses was linked to a move to Bondi before re-signing with the joint venture, plunging Hastings’ future at the foundation club further in doubt amid more speculation pointing to a return for the playmaker to his former club St George Illawarra.
However Hastings’ stocks have risen again on the back of his impressive effort in atrocious conditions at Allianz Stadium on Sunday in the Roosters’ 32-18 win over the Tigers, in the absence of halfback Mitchell Pearce.
When asked in the post-match press conference how Hastings can keep his first grade gig Robinson said: “Play like he did today”.
“It is hard as a coach. I dropped him but I also put him back in. That is the thing as a coach, you don’t always give them the good news and that hurt obviously for a couple of weeks.
“You can still support a guy even if you drop him and we got a performance like that tonight.
“It hasn’t been the easiest couple of weeks. We have to coach and train. It is our job regardless of the circumstance and full credit to Jacko he got the job done.”
Hastings said he hadn’t fallen out with Robinson.
“The couple of weeks that I have had have been blown up and our relationship questioned, but we have a really good relationship,” he said.
“He has a lot of trust in me to put me in. I want to repay the faith. I am happy I did that (but there’s) still a long way to go.
“He made the decision to drop me and I took it on the chin. I went back to Wyong and did my best and got rewarded with a spot back.”
The Roosters’ win, just their third of the season, came in torrential rain before just 3,622 fans, the lowest crowd in the NRL era.
In other matches in round 13, Canberra beat Manly in the nation’s capital 30-18 on Friday, The Warriors beat Brisbane 36-18 in Auckland on Saturday, North Queensland thrashed Newcastle 46-16 in Townsville and Melbourne beat Penrith 24-6 at AAMI Park.