Scott Prince
Scott Prince Scott Powick - Tweed Daily News/APN

Titans left paupers with exit of Prince

GOOD on Scott Prince for securing his future, and doing the best for his wife Kristy and two young daughters, Kahlen and Taliah. His three-year deal with Hull in the English Super League will no doubt be a bountiful boost to not just his bank balance, but his confidence.

It will also be a lifestyle experience for the family.

But while the deal appears an exceptional one for Prince (pictured), that the Titans would release him from the final year of his contract is an astonishing decision. Not only is he their captain, but he is far and away the Titans' most influential player.

Forget the namby-pamby "we don't want to stand in his way" jargon, this appears to be the final wash-up from a concerted effort over an extended period to dump their respected skipper.

The aggressive manner in which the Titans unsuccessfully chased Storm halfback Cooper Cronk earlier this year indicated a vexing issue.

Okay, the reality is that Prince is no spring chicken. He turns 33 in February and next year was to be his 15th season in the NRL.

And yes, he no longer possesses the speed and sparkle that made him a Test and Origin player.

But Titans fans have a simple question to ask their coaching staff and management: Who do we have to replace him? And the answer to that is a doughnut.

Sure Jordan Rankin and Beau Henry are in their ranks, and they have signed the talented but troubled Albert Kelly, who was sacked by both the Sharks and the Knights this past season. This trio has played a combined 39 NRL games, and none has shown anything like the qualities needed to lead the Titans around the park.

And as the Broncos showed when push came to shove at the back end of 2012, players like Daren Lockyer - and Scott Prince - are not only impossible to replace, they leave a void that can take seasons to fill.

If the Titans had been flying high when Prince sought a release, a compassionate discharge would have been mildly understandable, and possibly even palatable to their fans. But the Titans is a club on the nose, and on the brink.

For the fourth time in their six years in the premiership, they missed the NRL finals in 2012, and the NYC side finished with the wooden spoon.

And the much-publicised financial woes and seedy publicity surrounding founding chief executive Michael Searle has left a nasty stench.

But surely one of the major queries engulfing the Titans of late has been their recruitment.

If they were keen to push Prince out the door, why did they not sign a halfback?

Surely the big bucks spent on Jamal Idris and now Dave Taylor could have been deployed more prudently.

All sporting teams face the harsh reality of losing their key man, who is typically also their drawcard.

But most are lost through natural attrition, not released from existing contracts.

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