Looking back on the remarkable year that was, NSWRL.com.au counts down the 10 biggest stories from the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership NSW season. At No.3, we look at the controversial dropping of a player that divided the public.
At the end of the 2018 season, Jackson Hastings certainly needed to sit down and take a breath.
A year that began with promise turned into uncertainty. The uncertainty turned into scrutiny. The scrutiny caused him to pack his bags for England.
Now, Hastings is in a good place. He’s playing for the Salford Red Devils and the fans absolutely love him over there. It’s a fantastic way to end what has been a whirlwind year.
That year started with one of the biggest stories of the season. Manly Sea Eagles’ coach Trent Barrett sensationally came out and declared he wouldn’t pick Hastings for the remainder of the 2018 campaign.
The exact reasons of the drama are still unclear; a new theory as to why was being thrown around each day. The fact of the matter was that Hastings was to turn out for Blacktown with no chance of being promoted to first grade.
With any job, if there’s no incentive to be promoted then there’s no point staying. As much as you’d like to put in one hundred per cent, there’s that extra bit of motivation that’s just not there.
Blacktown coach Steve Hales said a number of times how positive Hastings was given the circumstances, but after Round 15 against the Dragons he was off to Salford.
He guided his side to the top of the ladder in the Super League qualifiers, and recently signed a one year extension to the club that gave him his chance.