Everyone has finally seen how much Jason Taylor wanted the coaching job at Parramatta this year; when yesterday he let loose at Michael Hagan in front of least a dozen bystanders at Parramatta Stadium.
It started to heat up early on, when Jason Taylor and his Rabbitohs wanted to use the warm-up facilities at the Southern end of Parramatta Stadium. This is the area Parramatta themselves have warmed up on for years – so there were two problems, Parramatta usually prefer this area and due to recent heavy rains; this council parkland was closed anyway.
Jason Taylor obviously read into it all too much; thinking conspiracy he simply ordered his team to jump the fence and train on the closed park (Old Kings Oval). (Even though Parramatta officials had offered South Sydney access to the Stadium itself to warm-up.)
So the mood was a firey one from early on, much credit must now be given to Tony Archer for keeping the two sides apart. It would have been very easy for this game to boil over like the Roosters / Sharks match on Saturday night.
When Parramatta held on to defeat Souths 18-12 in a thriller – the NRL post match media conference was set to be an emotional one. It didn’t disappoint. As Jason Taylor caught sight of Michael Hagan he locked on and unloaded verbally “How f*cked are you?” Taylor lashed out. (Believing that Hagan was responsible for the warm-up conspiracy). Taylor kept going “Brian Smith’s rebuilding what you fâ€¦.d up in Newcastle!” raged Taylor.
Hagan replied: “At least we won without Joey (Andrew Johns) today.”
The Eels coach’s comment was in response to Taylor previously questioning Hagan’s ability to coach wins at the Knights without star player Johns. (At an NRL awards night)
Taylor was always going to be up against it after losing the match, winners are grinners and even the best sledger couldn’t dig themselves out of this one.
Both coaches refused to elaborate more deeply on the matter and club bosses Denis Fitzgerald and Shane Richardson later weighed into the debate.
However, it seems crystal clear that Jason Taylor obviously has a complex over Michael Hagan and the Eels and badly wanted the win not just for his team but for himself – as the amount of fireworks that exploded from young Taylor yesterday suggests he badly wanted to be captain of the Eels ship.