Tony Durkin asks: A saviour for Titans?
WHEN Graham Annesley resigned as NSW Minister for Sport just on 12 months ago, he conceded he had never regarded himself as a politician.
Many aspects of politics exasperated him, and he felt more at home as a sports administrator.
I wonder whether those same sentiments were pertinent on Tuesday when eight-year Titans coach John Cartwright and club founder Michael Searle fell on their respective swords.
Annesley has been Titans chief executive for less than a year, yet has experienced more angst than most would encounter in a decade.
Apart from this week's resignation of both Cartwright and Searle, the Titans are about to miss the finals for the fourth successive season, face a salary cap investigation, carry a massive debt and have just had their major sponsor pull the plug two years into a five-year agreement.
If that concoction is not enough for an Annesley migraine, throw in the stat that attendances at Titans home games this season average just 13,382. In their first season at Skilled Park that figure was 21,618.
In short, if Annesley thought he was more suited to sports administration than politics, now is his time to shine.
There is no shying away from the fact the Titans are in a mess and if he can bring them back from the brink the former referee will be hailed a genius.
Like his neighbour Anthony Griffin two weeks earlier, Cartwright was all class in accepting the inevitable decision of his demise.
He understands that coaching at the elite level, and being paid the big bucks, is purely results driven.
But despite his calm exterior, Cartwright managed a parting shot at the people of the Gold Coast when he said they need to get behind their team, and support the Titans through the tough times as well as the good.
But that lethargy is nothing new - it has been an issue on the glitter strip for the past 26 years.
The Titans is the fourth NRL franchise on the Gold Coast since 1988, with the Giants, Seagulls and Chargers having already fallen into the abyss.
That is a woeful history and one which not even the polished Annesley can disregard as the re-building project begins.
Yes, yes, yes
BOTH Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk were penalised on Monday night for blocking, an infringement that has seemingly been ignored in more recent times.
We can only hope referees continue the crackdown.
No, no no
USING a leg to sling a player to the ground has become increasingly prevalent now that the third man in is outlawed from tackling below the knees.
Like many dangerous defensive innovations of recent years, this method needs to be nipped in the bud before someone is seriously hurt.