Des Hasler (born 16 February 1961) is an Australian professional rugby league coach who is the head coach of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL, and a former professional rugby league footballer.

Des Hasler
Des Hasler Manly 2018.png
Personal information
Full nameDesmond Hasler
Born (1961-02-16) 16 February 1961 (age 58)
Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
Height176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight79 kg (12 st 6 lb)
Playing information
PositionHalfback, Lock, Hooker
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1982–83 Penrith Panthers 12 5 0 0 20
1984–93 Manly Sea Eagles 209 66 0 0 264
1993–94 Hull F.C. 23 10 0 0 40
1995–96 Manly Sea Eagles 47 6 1 0 26
1997 Western Suburbs 21 6 0 0 24
Total 312 93 1 0 374
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1985–92 NSW City 8 1 0 0 4
1985–91 New South Wales 12 2 0 0 8
1985–91 Australia 12 2 0 0 8
Coaching information
Club
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2004–11 Manly Sea Eagles 221 131 0 90 59
2012–17 Canterbury Bulldogs 166 94 0 72 57
2019– Manly Sea Eagles 26 15 0 11 58
Total 413 240 0 173 58
As of 24 September 2019
Source: [1][2]

He initially played for the Penrith Panthers, and then spent most of his playing career with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, with whom he won premierships in 1987 and 1996. He spent a season with Hull FC in England, returning to Manly, before finishing his playing career with the Western Suburbs Magpies. He also played for NSW City, New South Wales in State of Origin and Australia at international level.

Hasler has coached Manly between 2004 and 2011, winning a further two premierships in 2008 and 2011. He coached the Canterbury Bulldogs in the National Rugby League, before returning to Brookvale Oval.

Early lifeEdit

Hasler was born in Gosford, New South Wales, Australia. He played his junior footy at Brothers Penrith.[4]

Playing careerEdit

Hasler began his first grade career with the Penrith Panthers in 1982, but quickly transferred to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Hasler's contact with Manly came by chance.

After having played only 12 games for the Panthers in 1982 and 1983, Bob Fulton, on the lookout for a halfback due to not being satisfied with the play of Phil Blake, offered Hasler a trial at Manly and he signed to play for the Sea Eagles in 1984.[citation needed]

Hasler made his début for Australia in the third test of the 1985 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand at Carlaw Park in Auckland, coming into the team at the expense of Queensland halfback Mark Murray. Unfortunately his début was soured with the Kiwis defeating Australia 18–0.

Hasler's value as a utility player led to his frequent selection on the bench in representative football. Hasler played 13 State of Origin matches for New South Wales (7 from the bench, 3 at halfback, 2 at five-eighth and 1 at lock), scoring 2 tries during these games. His biography, The Utility Player, was written by prominent Australian author and Manly Warringah fan Thomas Keneally and was published in 1993.[5]

Hasler also played in twelve test and World Cup matches for Australia between 1985 and 1991, with his utility value seeing him start 9 of those games from the bench.

After the 1993 season, Hasler spent the off-season playing for Hull F.C. in the English Rugby League Premiership. He later returned to the Sea Eagles for the 1995 and 1996 ARL season. Hasler had a new role for the season playing mostly at hooker.[citation needed] Although starting the 1996 season as the teams hooker, the signing of 1994 Kangaroo Tour hooker Jim Serdaris saw Hasler play most of the season from the bench for the Sea Eagles. The team had another great year, winning their second straight minor premiership before going on to defeat St. George 20–8 in the Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium, giving Hasler his second and last premiership win as a player.[citation needed]

After 257 games for the Sea Eagles over 12 seasons, Manly did not offer Hasler a contract beyond 1996.[citation needed] Feeling he still had something to offer he then signed with the Western Suburbs Magpies for the 1997 season. He played 21 games for the Magpies alternating between halfback, lock, hooker and the bench, before retiring at the end of the season.

Coaching careerEdit

Manly Warringah Sea EaglesEdit

In 2004, Des Hasler was appointed head coach of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. In the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons he led the team to the semi-finals for the first time since the late 1990s. Hasler gained the experience of Geoff Toovey as assistant coach in the 2007 season. The team was a contender in the 2007 National Rugby League premiership, and finished second on the NRL ladder, losing the grand final 34–8 Melbourne Storm.

He coached Manly to a record breaking 40–0 2008 NRL Grand Final victory over the Melbourne Storm.[6]

In 2008, he was named the Rugby League International Federation's Coach of the Year at the RLIF Awards.[7]

After failing to win the 1987 World Club Challenge with Manly as a player, he won it with them as coach in 2009.

He took Manly to the finals again in 2009 and 2010, but lost a final in each year to be eliminated from the finals.

He coached his 200th first-grade game on 13 August 2011 when Manly defeated their traditional rivals Parramatta 26–20 at Parramatta Stadium. The win was also Hasler's 117th win as a coach.[citation needed]

In 2011, Manly finished second on the NRL ladder. Manly defeated North Queensland 42–8 at the Sydney Football Stadium for their first finals win since 2008. Manly went on to win the 2011 NRL Grand Final. He was named coach of the year at the RLIF Awards.[8]

A week after leading Manly to the 2011 premiership, Hasler signed to coach the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the 2013 season.[9] He initially agreed to continue to coach Manly for the 2012 season, but on 11 November 2011, Manly's board of directors sacked him, alleging "serious breaches" of his contract with rumors rife of the breaches including enticing staff and players to join him at the Bulldogs from 2013. A number of Manly's coaching and administrative employees had announced they would be joining Hasler at Canterbury.[10]

Canterbury-Bankstown BulldogsEdit

Hasler joined Canterbury on 14 November 2011 as head coach for the 2012 NRL season.[11] He had immediate success as he took the club to finish eight places better than the previous season to the top of the ladder and collected the minor premiership. After impressive Qualifying Final and Preliminary Final wins; 16–10 over former club Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and 32–8 over South Sydney Rabbitohs respectively, the club were beaten in the Grand Final by the Melbourne Storm 14–4.[12] At the 2012 Dally M Awards Hasler was named the NRL's coach of the year.[13]

In the 2014 NRL season, Hasler led Canterbury to the 2014 NRL Grand Final, and lost 30-6 to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

In the 2016 NRL season Canterbury finished two places lower than the previous season as they finished in seventh place, the same position they managed to reach the Grand Final from two years earlier, but those hopes of a 2014 repeat were crushed in the qualifying elimination final where the Bulldogs after leading 6–4 at half-time but suffered a 28–12 defeat to the Penrith Panthers at the Sydney Football Stadium after which straight away Canterbury bowed out of the finals series.

On 19 September 2017, it was announced by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs that Hasler had been released. On 1 December 2017, it was announced that Hasler was taking Canterbury to court and was seeking $2 million in damages after he was terminated by the club despite signing a two-year contract extension earlier in the season.[14]

On 4 May 2018 Hasler and Canterbury-Bankstown reached an out of court settlement for an undisclosed sum of money. Canterbury issued a statement saying "After a great deal of discussion over the last couple of months, The Bulldogs are pleased to have reached an agreement with Des Hasler, It was important for the club to be able to bring this matter to a close and move forward. Our members and fans deserve that".[15]

Manly-Warringah Sea EaglesEdit

On 22 October 2018, Hasler was announced as the new head coach of Manly for the 2019 season.[16]

Before the start of the 2019 NRL season, many predicted that Manly would finish outside the top 8 and struggle towards the bottom of the table. Throughout the season though, Manly surprised many critics by spending nearly the entire regular season in the top 8 which included the club defeating Melbourne at AAMI Park 11-10 in golden point extra-time and also defeating other premiership contenders Canberra twice throughout the year. Hasler eventually guided Manly-Warringah to a sixth-place finish as the club qualified for the finals.[17][18]

Hasler would guide Manly to the second week of the finals series in 2019 as the club were defeated by South Sydney 34-26 in the elimination semi-final at ANZ Stadium.[19][20]

HonoursEdit

As a playerEdit

NSWRFL/ARL Minor Premiership (3): 1987, 1995, 1996

NSWRFL/ARL Premiership (2): 1987, 1996

As a CoachEdit

NRL Premiership (2): 2008, 2011

NRL Minor Premiership (1): 2012

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rugby League Project (player)
  2. ^ Rugby League Project (coach)
  3. ^ "Could Des Hasler be getting close to the end of his time with Canterbury?". Daily Telegraph. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  4. ^ "About Us – Brothers Penrith Junior Rugby League Club Inc". www.brotherspjrlc.com.au. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  5. ^ Headon, David (October 1999). "Up From the Ashes: The Phoenix of a Rugby League Literature" (PDF). Football Studies Volume 2, Issue 2. Football Studies Group. Archived from the original (pdf) on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Grand final: As it happened". Fox Sports. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
  7. ^ AAP (2008) Fox Sports: http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,20797,24666942-5016947,00.html?from=public_rss
  8. ^ "Slater scoops player award". Sky Sports. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Canterbury confirm Hasler appointment". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  10. ^ Prichard, Greg; Chamas, Michael (10 November 2011). "Desi-mation: Manly stand down dual premiership-winning coach after move". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  11. ^ McDonald, Margie (14 November 2011). "Des Hasler never contemplated a clean-out at the Bulldogs". The Australian.
  12. ^ "Melbourne Storm beat Canterbury Bulldogs in 2012 NRL grand final". News Corp Australia Network. 30 September 2012.
  13. ^ News Limited (4 September 2012). "All the Dally M winners plus galleries". Herald Sun. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/canterbury-bulldogs/former-bulldogs-coach-des-hasler-seeks-2-million-in-damages-court-told-20171201-gzwxc0.html
  15. ^ https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/bulldogs/bulldogs-reach-settlement-with-des-hasler-over-contract-stoush/news-story/63a8e1dfc429fb74c0380c2e38e11e30
  16. ^ https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/sea-eagles/what-about-trent-barrett-five-burning-questions-for-des-haslers-sea-eagles/news-story/9800324bdf97b4718e2b43f3c04427d9
  17. ^ "It's not about this old fossil Des Hasler and the rebirth of Manly". SMH.
  18. ^ "Manly's home final against the Sharks could be moved after asbestos discovered". News.com.au.
  19. ^ "South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Manly Sea Eagles 34-26 in NRL semi-final". ABC.
  20. ^ "Rabbitohs dig deep to eliminate Sea Eagles in finals thriller". NRL.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Peter Sharp
1999 and 2003
Coach
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

2004–2011
Succeeded by
Geoff Toovey
2012–2015