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Why St George Illawarra had no selection however to maneuver on from embattled coach Anthony Griffin


The axe that was teetering so precariously over Anthony Griffin’s teaching tenure has fallen with St George Illawarra saying on Tuesday they’d sack the embattled coach after two and a half struggling seasons with the Crimson V.

Outcomes converse for themselves and the Dragons are at present second-last on the ladder and on the again of a six-match dropping streak. 

Throw within the struggles of earlier years, the hypothesis surrounding the membership’s pursuit of high-profile assistant coaches like Jason Ryles and Ben Hornby and it was a matter of when Griffin was let go, not if.

Assistant coach Ryan Carr will take over for the remainder of the season however Ryles is within the field seat to guide the membership into the longer term. If it does occur, that is an appointment the Dragons and their followers ought to really feel superb about.

Ryles is likely one of the most promising assistants within the league, with acclaimed stints on the Roosters and Melbourne, and could be a good selection for any membership who wanted to seek out their ceaselessly coach. Throw in his Dragons pedigree and it is simple to see a future the place Ryles coaches the membership for a few years to return.

It was at all times troublesome to see that future with Griffin, which made him one thing of a curious appointment when he took the reins again in 2021.

The previous Broncos and Panthers coach was counted as a secure pair of arms, a shepherd for the membership’s youthful gamers and a bridge between a rebuild and a brighter future.

There have been sound ideas behind that appointment, in principle, particularly if Griffin was particularly chosen to be a bridge to a brighter future.

It has been a tough few seasons for the Dragons. ()

At each Brisbane and Penrith, Griffin helped convey a rating of youthful skills into first grade and whereas he by no means took both membership to a grand remaining, Griffin groups by no means bottomed out and propped up the remainder of the ladder both. You get a rebuild with out a wood spoon in sight.

On paper, that is sort of what’s occurred. The Dragons completed twelfth and tenth in his two full seasons in cost – they weren’t particularly dangerous however they weren’t particularly good both, they only type of existed.

Native juniors like Jayden Sullivan, Talatau Amone, Tyrell Sloan and the Feagai twins have all cracked first grade beneath Griffin and, sometimes, confirmed glimpses of true brilliance.

The Dragons are struggling however there may be expertise on that roster, expertise that simply must be harnessed and directed and refined. However the truth they want that refinement exhibits the broader struggles of Griffin’s tenure.

Earlier than Saturday’s listless defeat to the Cowboys their final 5 losses had come by two, two, one, six and two factors. In every of these 5 matches they scored as many or extra tries than their opponents however an absence of consideration to element allow them to down. Sooner or later, that comes again to teaching. 

Aside from Ben Hunt, who was already a Take a look at and State of Origin participant, and the hard-nosed Blake Lawrie it might be exceedingly beneficiant to say most of the membership’s gamers have considerably improved since Griffin took over.

The paths of two gamers — enigmatic centre Zac Lomax and utility Jack Chook – are value highlighting. They’re two of the membership’s most gifted gamers and neither of them have been put in the very best place to succeed.

Because it stands, Lomax is languishing in reserve grade after two powerful seasons the place he is appeared removed from the drive he is usually promised to be. A transfer from proper to left centre this 12 months was a catastrophe and ended up with him in reserve grade.

His goalkicking success fee has dropped from 78 per cent in 2020 to simply over 60 per cent this 12 months. He’s not what he must be, not what he will be and there is most likely plenty of causes for that and solely Lomax is aware of which of them are true. However teaching needs to be part of it.

Jack Chook has been shuffled throughout the sphere in recent times. ()

Chook enjoying in any respect is a quiet success story given the horrific run of knee accidents he suffered throughout his time with Brisbane.

All through 2021 and 2022 he slowly discovered his method again and on events he appeared an important deal just like the participant who starred with Cronulla years in the past. However he is additionally performed fullback, centre, five-eighth, halfback, second row and lock and he can do all this stuff however he is by no means been allowed to settle in and make one spot his personal.

Such will be the lot of the utility life however Chook has at all times been able to greater than that and simply because he can play plenty of positions does not imply he ought to.

Totally different positions require totally different attributes, totally different coaching, totally different physique compositions however Chook has not been allowed to develop into the very best model of himself as a participant as a result of he has not had that likelihood to hone himself right into a grasp of 1 commerce and never a jack of many.


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