Tuesday this week saw the sacking of St George Illawarra head coach, Anthony Griffin. The end of the veteran coach’s tenure came as no surprise to most of the NRL community after a continuation of the joint ventures’ lacklustre results.
The Dragons haven’t won since a strong victory over the Dolphins in round 5 and, following a string of narrow losses, were beaten 42-22 by the Cowboys at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday.
Dragon’s lock, Jack de Belin, said that the team needed to take accountability for Griffin’s dismissal.
“At the end of the day it is a results driven business and we just have not got the results for him so it is disappointing on our end,” De Belin said.
Griffin leaves the club having coached 58 games, recording 22 wins and 36 defeats.
The win rate of 37.9 per cent leaves him with the second worst record out of the Dragon’s previous four coaches, narrowly ahead of Steve Price who also led the club in 58 matches but only managed 21 wins. Wayne Bennet stands out as the Dragon’s most successful coach in recent times, with all preceding coaches struggling to come close to his win record of 65 per cent.
Griffin has now coached 231 career games, with an overall win percentage of 51 per cent. He has been dismissed from each of his previous roles with Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers, despite enjoying comparably better records at both clubs.
For Jack Clifton, of the Red V Members Group, Griffin’s poor record at the club is a reflection not only on his coaching abilities, but the competence of the Dragons’ administration.
“I think fans are fed up dealing with mediocrity and poor performances, but also upset with what is happening off the field.”
“I think the board needs to be held accountable,” he said.
Since the clubs only premiership win in 2010, the Dragons highest position finish was 5th, coming in 2011. Since then, the team has only reached been in top-8 finals contention twice.
Assistant coach, Ryan Carr has stepped into the head coach role for the time being and will be at the helm for Friday night’s game against the Roosters. CEO, Ryan Webb, has confirmed that the club is already looking for a long-term solution.
“As far as who we are looking at next year, there are a few names who are in the mix.”
“We are hoping to get that to a conclusion soon and make sure the next person is someone who can hopefully lead us for the next three, five years, seven, ten years.” He said.
Ex-player and current Rooster’s assistant, Jason Ryles is the current favourite to be next in the Dragon’s coaching hot seat.
With reporting from Ashleigh Wright.