As the Canterbury board prepares to meet to decide Des Hasler’s fate, statistics reveal the Bulldogs could be about to turn their backs on one of the most successful coaches in recent history.
Hasler’s future will be on the line at an emergency board meeting at Canterbury Leagues Club on Friday afternoon where a possible payout of his contract will be discussed.
Despite a stellar record and taking the club to two grand finals, his position appears untenable after board member and Bulldogs great Steve Mortimer promised to resign if he is granted a two-year contract extension.
On the face of it, it seems inconceivable that a coach of Hasler’s calibre would be cut having made the top eight this year and with a year left to run on his contract.
Hasler has been involved in 12 straight finals series dating back to 2005. Only in his rookie year at the Sea Eagles in 2004 did he fail to make the top eight.
And only the great Wayne Bennett has taken sides to more consecutive finals series – 20 in a row with Brisbane and St George Illawarra between 1992 and 2011.
During his 13-year coaching career, Hasler has won 200 of 337 games, a win rate of 59.3 per cent – putting him up there with some of the great coaches of the modern era.
Premiership winners Michael Maguire (58.9 per cent), Bennett (62.0) and Trent Robinson (60.0) all have comparable success rates.
Only Melbourne’s Craig Bellamy (65.6 per cent) stands head and shoulders above the others.
Even Phil Gould (59.3), Clive Churchill (56.9) and Warren Ryan (56.9) have lesser records.
Former Canterbury greats and coaches closed ranks yesterday with many declining to discuss Hasler’s future when contacted by AAP.
Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle also did not answer calls.
Former Manly two-time premiership-winning hooker Matt Ballin told Fox Sports News that Hasler was the best coach he had worked under.
Some board members are reportedly frustrated at Hasler’s inability to bring a premiership to Belmore – having guided Manly to two grand final wins.
There are also concerns about the club’s culture and junior development under his watch.