- Feb 17, 2017
Battle of Hastings: Real reasons Tigers let halfback leave
By Danny WeidlerDecember 4, 2022 — 5.00am
The mystery behind the hurried exit of fan favourite Jackson Hastings can be put down to some petty and seemingly innocuous differences with new Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens.
After trying for a year to sign Luke Brooks and failing, the Knights turned their attention to Hastings – and the Tigers offered little if any resistance. Today we can explain why they were willing to let a star player go. We already knew of the club’s interest in Mitchell Moses, but there is more to the Hastings exit, which not all Tigers faithful will find palatable.
Jackson Hastings has been granted a release from the Tigers to join the Knights.Credit:Getty
Some at the Tigers are spreading the word that Hastings was hard to handle, but the issues he was having seem to be minor at best. The Tigers have copped plenty of flak for allowing Hastings – a quality performer last season – to leave the club after just one year and join Newcastle. Former Origin prop David Klemmer moved in the other direction at the same time.
On the surface, the problems appeared to start for Hastings when Sheens wanted him moved from halfback – the position the Knights have signed him to play. He was shifted to the No.13 role and, while Hastings was prepared to play anywhere, it’s not his preferred option. But there was more to his falling out with the club than that.
Hastings also showed strong support for former coach Michael Maguire after he was dumped by the Tigers in June, and that put noses out of joint.
Behind the scenes, Hastings also failed to fill in a welfare form that the club required its players to complete. That was held against him by some. It was viewed as an act of defiance. But it seems quite petty when other players can be involved in incidents that grab headlines and they are kept on.
Sources with knowledge of the situation also say the Tigers were upset with Hastings’ use of social media to track his rehabilitation from a broken ankle and syndesmosis injury, which ended his 2022 season. He was posting training and recovery updates, which fans lapped up, which old heads at the club frowned upon. Itwould appear to be a veryold-fashioned attitude fromthe club.
Sheens did not respond when asked for comment about the reasons for Hastings’ exit.