Gold Coast coach Neil Henry during a press conference at Titans headquarters.
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry during a press conference at Titans headquarters. DAVE HUNT

Tallis urges Henry to 'manage' Titans personalities

TITANS ambassador Gorden Tallis has urged Neil Henry to relax his traditionally tight reign and borrow from the methods of Wayne Bennett as he fights for his coaching career.

Most expect Henry has coached his last game at the Titans after yet another heavy defeat - a 30-8 loss to Parramatta on Thursday night - with the club's board to meet again next week after failing to reach a resolution on the fates of Henry and superstar signing Jarryd Hayne.

Henry has been circumspect when quizzed on his much-speculated relationship with the underperforming $1.2m marquee man, offering cryptic responses when asked earlier this week whether Hayne is a "team player" and if he'd be at the club in 2018.

Suggestions of a feud between the pair have bubbled away for much of the season and have now reached fever pitch as Henry tries to save his job.

With critics pointing to Henry's previous stints at Canberra and North Queensland, where he and champion half Johnathan Thurston are said to have had their issues, Tallis says the Titans coach should borrow from Bennett's careful handling of a number of big-name Broncos during their 1990s heyday.

"At the Broncos I had Wendell (Sailor), with his five personalities and his big ego ... Lazo (Glenn Lazarus) that was so serious and arrogant," Tallis said in the lead-up to the Titans loss to Parramatta on Fox League.

"Then you had Kev Walters and Alf (Allan Langer), then someone like Steve Renouf - brilliant player on Sundays, not the greatest trainer.

"So there was all these different personalities but Wayne let us do what we wanted to do, as long as on Sundays you brought your boots.


Former NRL player Gorden Tallis looks on during the NRL Auckland Nines match at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (AAP Image/SNPA, Teaukura Moetaua) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY , INTL OUT, AUSTRALIA ONLY
Former NRL player and current Fox Sports commentator Gorden Tallis. TEAUKURA MOETAUA

"I don't know whether Neil coaches that way. But if you want those guys that win you grand finals ... you've got to manage them."

Henry is renowned for a one-size-fits-all coaching approach to his sides, which was roundly credited for lifting the Gold Coast to its first finals appearance since 2010 last season.

But with the Titans falling by the wayside since Hayne's arrival, Henry's unflattering career win percentage of 44 per cent from a decade as head coach raises the prospect of this Titans role being his last if he is punted.

While Hayne is also famous for a lackadaisical approach that has driven past teammates and coaches up the wall, Tallis rejected reports that Henry had been reluctant to sign the code-hopping talent 12 months ago.

"I know that Neil wanted him at the club," Tallis said,

"Of course you want Jarryd Hayne because every coach would back themselves to get the best out of him.


Jarryd Hayne of the Titans warms up before the Round 23 NRL match between the St George-Illawarra Dragons and the Gold Coast Titans at UOW Jubilee Oval in Sydney, Saturday, August 12, 2017. (AAP Image/Craig Golding) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Jarryd Hayne of the Titans warms up before the round 23 clash with the Dragons. CRAIG GOLDING

"You would expect the players, it's your job to play good ... a little bit of blame has to go on Jarryd because he's the big-name player and the marquee player, so you would expect him to have played better than what he has.

"That's Neil's job, to coach the players and whatever your roster is."

Both Henry and club captain Ryan James hit out at suggestions the coach had lost the dressing room following their fifth straight loss, taking particular issue with reports that gun halves Kane Elgey and Ash Taylor had threatened to walk on the club if Henry remained.

But CEO Graham Annesley hinted at issues within the wider playing group as well during the week, which came after a number of senior players were interviewed by Annesley to determine the extent of, if any, player unrest.

Addressing the press on Thursday, Bennett himself was reluctant to weigh into the crisis engulfing Brisbane's nearest rivals.

But having survived 40 years in the game and successfully coached stars from right across the personality spectrum, Bennett warned the Titans board that bowing to player power could set the club up for a spectacular failure.

"(Players) can have their say, but if the club starts listening to them, well they will be in a fair bit of trouble," Bennett said.

"Every time you give players a headline, you give them more power.

"(The pressure on Henry) goes with the territory.

"He is a seasoned coach, he has been around a long time now ... he has handled himself pretty well actually through this."