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Man of Kent

Justin Holbrook - NRL coach of the year

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Just wanted to pay homage to Justin Holbrook.

In his first season he has taken the Titans from 16th to 9th with minimal recruitment. That's beyond the wildest dreams of many of their fans, I suspect, and if the season was the normal length they might even have made the finals. 

Some said Holbrook was mad to leave Saints for Gold Coast but he was always going to improve them. But surely nobody would have predicted by this much so quickly.

NRL coach of the year, for mine.

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12 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

He’ll win an NRL Grand Final in the next 4-5 years. I genuinely think he’s that good. 

Wouldn't bet against it. He's massively improved them almost purely though coaching, now they are spending money they ought to be a seriously good side.

Edited by Man of Kent

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16 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

He’ll win an NRL Grand Final in the next 4-5 years. I genuinely think he’s that good. 

With someone other than the Titans though?

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He seems so quiet and unassuming compared to a lot of coaches. When he joined Saints I wondered if he’d have much of an impact in the dressing room, but I’m delighted to have been proven wrong. 

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3 minutes ago, Eddie said:

With someone other than the Titans though?

Possibly. I could see a Sydney based club trying to woo him back ‘home’ if he has another year like this year in 2021. 

That said, there is a decent spine developing at the Titans. 

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With Ash Taylor, Fogarty, and Bronson all they need is a top tier hooker to complete their spine.

Their forward pack next year will be one of the best in the comp.


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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

He seems so quiet and unassuming compared to a lot of coaches. When he joined Saints I wondered if he’d have much of an impact in the dressing room, but I’m delighted to have been proven wrong. 

I think a lot of the good coaches seem like that to be honest, the likes of Bennett and Robinson for example. Part of being a good coach is understanding that it's about the players, not you, and being quiet and unassuming fits well with that a lot of the time. 

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Fantastic job from Justin this season , and putting building blocks in place for even better next season . I’m a big fan of his , I hope he does big things with the Titans . I’d wager Cleary will be coach of the year though 

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3 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

Meantime, how can the 6th team beat the 3rd, 60 - 8. ??

That was one of the most complete performances.... one of the most efficient games of rugby I've seen in years. Nobody saw that coming.

What a game

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6 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

Meantime, how can the 6th team beat the 3rd, 60 - 8. ??

I dont think the 3rd place team cared much, probably mentally already thinking about the Finals and werent looking to go all out an risk injuries.

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He's done very well and you can she his influence on the team growing as the season has gone on. As for coach of the year, I'm not sure not making the play-offs qualifies as a massive success in a league where spending is pretty balanced. 

Ivan Cleary is the obvious candidate and maybe Brad Arthur depending on how they do in the play-offs. Holbrook's time may come next year, they should be force with Fifita and Tino joining. If they can get a competent half instead Taylor they could be challengers.

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Holbrook has had a solid start at the Titans,but talk of coach of the year is way off the mark,they never threatened a finals place all year although with the money they are throwing about they should be top 8 certainties next season.

For me Ivan Cleary coach of the minor premiers who have lost only 1 game this year,playing some wonderful rugby should be a shoe in.

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On 26/09/2020 at 08:59, Davo5 said:

Holbrook has had a solid start at the Titans,but talk of coach of the year is way off the mark,they never threatened a finals place all year although with the money they are throwing about they should be top 8 certainties next season.

For me Ivan Cleary coach of the minor premiers who have lost only 1 game this year,playing some wonderful rugby should be a shoe in.

That's a bit harsh on Holbrook for me Davo.  He took a team that played 24 and won 4 in 2019 and with hardly any additions to the squad he got them to 9 wins from 20 games.  I think that is more than a solid start, I think it is a terrific achievement in year 1.

I agree that with some big name signings for next year, the Titans should have ambitions for the top 8 but that is in the future and what Holbrook has achieved so far is merit worthy without doubt.

Edit: and a quick look at the from guide for 2019 and 2020 tells its own story.  The Titans finished 2019 with a 0-5 record and this season they sit alongside the Panthers with a 5-0 record in the last 5 games.  That is a huge turnaround in confidence and form from what he inherited.

Edited by Dunbar
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Certainly made a big impression and has got Titans playing very attractive rugby but  you have to take into account the fixtures. Until the last round Titans were 0-9 against top 8 teams but 8-2 against bottom 8 teams. The NRL was a two division league in practice and Titans were the best of a bad bunch.

 

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9 hours ago, Dunbar said:

That's a bit harsh on Holbrook for me Davo.  He took a team that played 24 and won 4 in 2019 and with hardly any additions to the squad he got them to 9 wins from 20 games.  I think that is more than a solid start, I think it is a terrific achievement in year 1.

I agree that with some big name signings for next year, the Titans should have ambitions for the top 8 but that is in the future and what Holbrook has achieved so far is merit worthy without doubt.

Edit: and a quick look at the from guide for 2019 and 2020 tells its own story.  The Titans finished 2019 with a 0-5 record and this season they sit alongside the Panthers with a 5-0 record in the last 5 games.  That is a huge turnaround in confidence and form from what he inherited.

The Titans never threatened the top 8 and were helped by the Broncos,Dogs,Dragons & Cowboys being basket cases & the likes of West’s,Manly throwing the towel in when they couldn’t make the top 8.

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On 26/09/2020 at 08:59, Davo5 said:

Holbrook has had a solid start at the Titans,but talk of coach of the year is way off the mark,they never threatened a finals place all year although with the money they are throwing about they should be top 8 certainties next season.

For me Ivan Cleary coach of the minor premiers who have lost only 1 game this year,playing some wonderful rugby should be a shoe in.

Always good to see you disagreeing with me, Davo.

Cleary has obviously done very well but it has to be remembered that Penrith has a massive juniors programme and, in that respect, he’s merely drinking from a well dug by others. 

Holbrook has transformed the Titans virtually overnight with barely any recruitment through the quality of his coaching.

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