Stunning admission about Titans’ ‘loose’ culture
ASH Taylor has hailed Garth Brennan's cultural revolution at the Gold Coast, admitting things had become too "loose" on the Queensland holiday strip.
In an indictment on how badly things spiralled out of control before coach Neil Henry's sacking and the exit of Jarryd Hayne, Titans halfback Taylor said morale had sunk to the point that it affected on-field performance.
The Titans were rocked by a series of damaging stories leaked to the press about Hayne's work ethic which led to a deterioration in the star fullback's relationship with Henry.
But hope has sprung anew following the appointment of Brennan, the highly-rated former Penrith lower-grade coach.
"I think our culture was too loose," Taylor said at the Fox League season launch.
"Stuff was getting out that didn't need to get out. There was a lot of talk going on which was a distraction.
"You can't let that sort of stuff get to you, you've got to get down to business."
One of Brennan's first acts following his appointment in October was to build a bridge between him and his players.
He enjoyed tremendous success at the Panthers, taking them to three premierships in the under-20s and NSW Cup, and Taylor said he had the rare ability to get the best out of his players.
"The way he does it is to get to know his players," Taylor said.
"He spends a lot of time with them, he gets to know them. He sets up little bonding sessions so we can get to know each other as well. Even if we do know someone, we get to know them better.
"We have a strong culture that we are building."
Despite renewed optimism from within the playing group, the Titans are favourites to collect the wooden spoon this year.
It is anticipated it will take them several years to rebuild but Taylor isn't so sure.
"That's just the critics trying to put us down," he said.
"At the end of the days we've got to play footy and win games. That'll get everyone off our backs."