Wests to continue heading south under Taylor?

On the way out ... Martin Taupau has played his last game for the Wests Tigers. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.
On the way out ... Martin Taupau has played his last game for the Wests Tigers. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.

MAYBE  coach Jason Taylor should be congratulated for making the decision to release Kiwi Test forward Martin Taupau to Manly, even though he has a year to run on his contract.

But in doing so Taylor might have signed his own death warrant.

Even Blind Freddie is well aware the state of play at Wests Tigers is an unmitigated mess.

Rarely in recent years has a positive vibe emanated from their base at Concord and nothing has changed in the two months since they finished last in 2015.

And while the deployment of Taupau may well be shrewd fiscal management, fans are certain to be irate.

Taylor's decision to release his most damaging forward was based on the future.

Following protracted negotiations the coach was convinced Taupau (right) was going to extend his contract with the Tigers beyond 2016 and his rationale in letting him go now was that the club could better plan its future.

That's the reason Taylor should be congratulated.

Too many coaches look for a short-term fix rather a long-term resolution.


Jason Taylor. Photo: AAP Image
Jason Taylor. Photo: AAP Image

Problem is, if Taylor doesn't have short-term success he may not have a future at the Tigers - or anywhere else for that matter.

The Tigers' salary cap woes are well documented. Newly-installed chairwoman Marina Go conceded mid-season that it would be three years before the cap debacle inherited by the new board could be unravelled.

So in the meantime it will be beer and pies and no champagne for Tigers fans. If they stick around that is, and there must be fears that might not happen.

This past season a mate of mine was offered prime seats at Suncorp Stadium to watch the Tigers play the Broncos in a Sunday afternoon game. He has been a Tigers fan all his life, firstly of Balmain and now the merged entity.

But he knocked back the free tickets. He could not bear to sit and watch his team get flogged, as they eventually were 42-16.

Since their premiership in 2005 the Tigers have been finalists just twice.

And since Tim Sheens was shown the door after a decade of solidarity and generally outstanding service, the Tigers have had two coaches in three seasons with little sign of any improvement.

And if the Taupau issue is not embarrassing enough, over the weekend news leaked that the Tigers had signed veteran Sea Eagles hooker Matt Ballin for two years. And that, surely, will only serve to further inflame the ticking time bomb that is the Robbie Farah mess.

So while Jason Taylor may have looked into his crystal ball when deciding to release Taupau, he cracked it when he signed Ballin.

Could it now be about to blow up in his face?

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