NRL: Balmain legend Paul Sironen hits out at fired Jason Taylor

Paul Sironen of Wests Tigers pleads for a try during the NRL trial match. Photo/Getty Images
Paul Sironen of Wests Tigers pleads for a try during the NRL trial match. Photo/Getty Images

Balmain legend Paul Sironen has taken a swipe at outgoing Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor, following his sacking yesterday.

After two consecutive drubbings at the hands of Penrith and the Raiders, the Tigers confirmed they were ending Taylor's time at the club, effective immediately.

While it may seem harsh to be shown the door just three games into a new season, especially after Wests' first-start 34-18 win over Souths, Sironen, who worked closely with junior players at the club before Taylor's arrival, has little sympathy for the man responsible for ousting him from Concord Oval.

"It was a little bit personal on a couple of fronts," Sironen told the Triple M Grill Team. "Without a word, he [Taylor] never came to me once and said, 'What's your role here?

What have you done?' It was a case of 'see you later' and I took that fairly personally, as you would expect.

"I thought I deserved a right to sit down and talk to him. I'd been a director for seven or eight years there, I'd worked in football operations with the state side and the Under-20s there so I thought I deserved a chat."

Taylor was appointed coach for the 2015 season, following a five-week internal review at the club, conducted by veteran coach Brian Smith, who was hired as a consultant. Taylor worked with Smith at Parramatta, taking over from him as first-grade coach midway through 2006.

Several staffing changes were made to the Tigers football department, following Smith's recommendations. Smith's son, Keegan, was employed as a physical performance consultant at the club, after stints in similar roles with the Catalan Dragons in France and the Sydney Roosters, a move that irritated Sironen.

"After the Brian Smith review, Jason Taylor came in rocking ready and it had a distinct Parramatta flavour, and I believe one of Brian Smith's sons had a role in the high performance unit, so I smelled a bit of a rat, but didn't say anything," Sironen said.

"I've had a front-row seat and watched the club lurch from one mishap to another.

"I just want to see the joint go forward and I don't think Jason Taylor is the man to take them forward."

Sironen played nearly 250 games for the Tigers from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s. The club stalwart says he only wants what's best for those in Tigerland.

"I've got a strong emotional attachment to the joint, so I want to see them succeed," he said.

GALLEN'S CHANGE OF HEART
Paul Gallen was no fan of the way Jason Taylor treated Wests Tigers legend Robbie Farah last year, as the coach ended the 33-year-old rake's time at the club.

Gallen was of the opinion the acrimonious end to Farah's career in the orange and black was a poor example to young players who had hopes of being a one-club player, but now the Cronulla captain has some sympathy for Taylor.

He says he feels sorry for the former Tigers coach, given he was only allowed a short amount of time in 2017 to prove he was the right man to lead the Tigers to the finals for the first time since 2011.

"The way Robbie was treated, I don't think was a good example to the younger guys, a bloke who had dedicated his whole life," Gallen said on Sky's Big Sports Breakfast. "But I feel sorry for him [Taylor] at the moment. I was critical last year, but now I feel sorry for him.

"It's the third round in and he's been sacked already ... it's very early days, so to be sacked real early is a bit of a concern."

There were suggestions the Tigers so-called "Big Four" - Aaron Woods, James Tedesco, Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks - who all come off contract at the end of 2017, were part of the reason behind Taylor's demise.

They refused to put pen to paper until they knew who would be at the helm in 2018, and The Daily Telegraph reported although the players "do not dislike Taylor", they "feel they need new direction to become better players and win a premiership at the Wests Tigers".

Gallen said the pressure is now on the players to prove they're good enough to command the big dollars, when they sign their next contract.

"It places more pressure on the players now," Gallen said. "We talk about the 'Big Four', they're going to have to start winning games, if they want to be in the big dollars.

"It puts a little bit more pressure on them and they have to start winning some games to take the team to the next level."

- news.com.au

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