On first glance I kind of nodded in agreeance with this. But when I really put a few seconds of thought to that idea, I think it's a little bit of a stigma hanging around from the sluggish end to his days at the Bulldogs.
I think he was always the type of coach to let his team develop their own style based on the strengths present in their playing squad, so I don't really think his teams were ever really identical in style.
On reflection he was also still pretty keen to innovate. i.e the way he played Dylan Walker kind of kickstarted the prevalence of the 'super-sub' bench-half we see today (playing @ lock). There's also the infamous short-drop out tactic which the Bulldogs went at relentlessly in 2017 (spoken about below)
"The Bulldogs' short drop-out tactic has divided opinion and surprised many commentators, but coach Des Hasler is onto a winner and the statistics prove it.
The Bulldogs have had 18 dropouts this season and got the ball back seven times, at a strike rate of 38.8 per cent. Not bad when every other team gives the ball back 100 per cent of the time.
The added benefit for the Bulldogs is that when they don't get the ball back, their defence is not working any harder than it absolutely has to. There is no running out 50 metres and then retreating as the set goes on. They are able to stand on their line and rush out.
NRL teams are more than happy to give away multiple penalties on their own line and the only difference with this tactic is that it gives them a chance to get the ball back.
The modern game has evolved, and it's only a matter of when, not if, other coaches adopt the tactic. Once it catches on, we'll wonder why the long drop-out ever existed, like kicking duels."
The Bulldogs' short drop-out tactic has divided opinion and surprised many commentators, but coach Des Hasler is onto a winner and the statistics prove it.
Definitely could argue his squad at the dogs got stale, but as for manly 2019-2022, we had a pretty young team that was willing to play with some adventure and flair. I think we obviously lacked a good dummy half with Fainu's situation though which - together with injury - tended to hold us a tier lower than we could have been (provided the big $$ players stayed fit)