18 hours ago
Off the Wall
Even when we have a short round of just five matches, the future of yet another NRL coach comes under increasing threat.
Since the start of the 2011 season the coaches of the following clubs have either been punted, told they won't be around in 2012, or jumped before they were pushed: Brisbane; Newcastle; Souths; Penrith - twice!
The weekend just passed has seen yet another coach in the firing line - the Bulldogs Kevin Moore. The media reports he has been given "just one week" to perform...up against the Melbourne Storm this weekend!
Why doesn't the Bulldogs management just put the poor guy out of his misery now?
And tonight's match between Canberra and Easts might add another coach to the execution line.
When you have a situation in which close to half the coaches at the start of the season might be gone before the end of it you have to ask yourself whether the standard of NRL coaches has slipped dramatically?
Or is it that club chairmen and chief executives increasingly regard dumping the coaching as the best way to protect their own privileged positions?
In the meantime, the players largely escape any blame at all.
Kevin Moore will probably be gone within a week or so. The Bulldogs are playing dreadful football. Any number of players are just not pulling their weight.
The coach has to accept some responsibility - but the players have to accept some as well.
Rugby league is not alone in focussing on the coaches rather than the players - it is happening in the AFL just as much.
If Kevin Moore is next to be shown the door, I wonder whether the betting agencies will offer odds on who will be next.
You would have to think David Furner and Brian Smith would vie for favouritism.
But the most bizarre coaching moves have happened at the Penrith Panthers over the last couple of weeks.
Firstly, Matt Elliott was told he would not be there next year, Gus Gould was brought in as "coaching director", then Matt Elliott departed early, to be replaced by Steve Georgallis who, after winning his first game, discovered he is not in contention for 2012 with the club appointing the Warriors coach, Ivan Cleary, to take over next year.
We generally never find out how much coaches receive when they are terminated early. Coaches salaries are not included in the salary cap scrutiny process.
But it is a safe bet that the cost each time it happens is in the six figures range.
Is it any wonder that an increasing number of NRL clubs are struggling to survive!