Coach Griffin

Eric

Moderator
Found this interesting.

THOSE WHO WON’T EXCHANGE CHRISTMAS CARDS​

Blake Solly - Peter V’landys
Phil Gould - Brian Fletcher
Sam Ayoub - Mark O’Neill
John Morris - Dino Mezzatesta
Joey Leilua - Michael Maguire
Latrell Mitchell - Joey Manu
Ivan Cleary - Wayne Bennett
Paul Green - Bruce Hatcher
Dave Warner - Tom Moody
Jason Taumalolo - Todd Payten
Adam Reynolds - Cooper Cronk
Paul Vaughan - Anthony Griffin
Des Hasler - Nathan Gibbs
Ben Simmons - Philadelphia 76ers
Lachlan Lewis - Cody Walker
Will Chambers - Matt Lodge
Ali Brigginshaw - Andrew Abdo
Tim Paine - Ravi Ashwin

Why would there be bad blood between Vaughan and Griffin? Vaughan's form was poor period let alone his form considering how much he was being paid. He breached terms of his contract twice, for the same thing and as far as I know was giving a warning for something else. And in the end, Griffin wouldn't be the one to decide whether or not to sack him, would he?
 

Morgan

SGI NSW Cup
Found this interesting.

THOSE WHO WON’T EXCHANGE CHRISTMAS CARDS​

Blake Solly - Peter V’landys
Phil Gould - Brian Fletcher
Sam Ayoub - Mark O’Neill
John Morris - Dino Mezzatesta
Joey Leilua - Michael Maguire
Latrell Mitchell - Joey Manu
Ivan Cleary - Wayne Bennett
Paul Green - Bruce Hatcher
Dave Warner - Tom Moody
Jason Taumalolo - Todd Payten
Adam Reynolds - Cooper Cronk
Paul Vaughan - Anthony Griffin
Des Hasler - Nathan Gibbs
Ben Simmons - Philadelphia 76ers
Lachlan Lewis - Cody Walker
Will Chambers - Matt Lodge
Ali Brigginshaw - Andrew Abdo
Tim Paine - Ravi Ashwin

Why would there be bad blood between Vaughan and Griffin? Vaughan's form was poor period let alone his form considering how much he was being paid. He breached terms of his contract twice, for the same thing and as far as I know was giving a warning for something else. And in the end, Griffin wouldn't be the one to decide whether or not to sack him, would he?
Who compiled the list?
 

Eric

Moderator
Who compiled the list?
Phillip Rothfield. There is a possibility it was to do with something or some ongoing tension before things came to a head as they did. I agree with RedV01 RedV01. The rules were ridiculous but rules nonetheless. The first time Vaughan could have been forgiven for just being stupid. The second time when the whole squad was explicitly told not to do that, it seems Vaughan was making some kind of protest, maybe purposely to spite the coach he already wasn't getting along with.

I don't know any of this. It's just a theory I have in the event Rothfield is correct in that there is bad blood between Vaughan and Griffin.
 

RedV01

SGI NSW Cup
Phillip Rothfield. There is a possibility it was to do with something or some ongoing tension before things came to a head as they did. I agree with RedV01 RedV01. The rules were ridiculous but rules nonetheless. The first time Vaughan could have been forgiven for just being stupid. The second time when the whole squad was explicitly told not to do that, it seems Vaughan was making some kind of protest, maybe purposely to spite the coach he already wasn't getting along with.

I don't know any of this. It's just a theory I have in the event Rothfield is correct in that there is bad blood between Vaughan and Griffin.
In the end it doesn't really matter. I'm sorry for him that he was arrogant and stupid. Lucky for the club because his form had at least a year earlier fallen off a cliff.
 

Eric

Moderator
Former St George Illawarra Dragons, Eels and Broncos star Corey Norman has decided to retire, aged 30. Norman was linked to several clubs for 2022 after being relased by the Dragons.

He told a podcast that he had had enough after 228 NRL games. “Yeah I was just like, na, I’m not even keen to play anymore,” Norman said. “I was just over it so I thought just call it a day.” “It was good bro, it was mad,” Norman added. “Best rollercoaster ever. 11 years ups and downs, the boys. The memories. “Almost 250 games. 250 of the best.”

St George Illawarra cut Norman loose from $800,000 a year contract after he was involved in a number of off-field incidents, including the club’s infamous Covid breach BBQ.

“Everything has to come to an end,” Norman said.

His off field behavior didn't help but the reason he was cut was obviously because of poor form. But the point is, it's nice our players don't go on public rants about the coach, club or whatever when they are cut loose. Even after the suffer coaches such a McGregor and Price.....
 

Morgan

SGI NSW Cup
Former St George Illawarra Dragons, Eels and Broncos star Corey Norman has decided to retire, aged 30. Norman was linked to several clubs for 2022 after being relased by the Dragons.

He told a podcast that he had had enough after 228 NRL games. “Yeah I was just like, na, I’m not even keen to play anymore,” Norman said. “I was just over it so I thought just call it a day.” “It was good bro, it was mad,” Norman added. “Best rollercoaster ever. 11 years ups and downs, the boys. The memories. “Almost 250 games. 250 of the best.”

St George Illawarra cut Norman loose from $800,000 a year contract after he was involved in a number of off-field incidents, including the club’s infamous Covid breach BBQ.

“Everything has to come to an end,” Norman said.

His off field behavior didn't help but the reason he was cut was obviously because of poor form. But the point is, it's nice our players don't go on public rants about the coach, club or whatever when they are cut loose. Even after the suffer coaches such a McGregor and Price.....
It's true a lot of players denounce the coach and or club and or head office on the way out. Can't overlook the possibility some of this is justified. Would it have served us better if Benji Marshall had nice things to say about the club on the way out, as he did or if he was brutally honest and very public about coach McGregor? I think the latter.
 

RedV01

SGI NSW Cup
It's true a lot of players denounce the coach and or club and or head office on the way out. Can't overlook the possibility some of this is justified. Would it have served us better if Benji Marshall had nice things to say about the club on the way out, as he did or if he was brutally honest and very public about coach McGregor? I think the latter.
Benji should have said something like 'St George Illawarra is great and justifiably proud club but the current coach is a moron, worst I've ever played under, including Jsson Taylor.'

That would have had the added bonus of being true.
 

Eric

Moderator
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

With just one season at the Dragons behind him and in the midst of a clean-out, Griffin should be safe for at least one more season.

Before the infamous barbecue tore the heart out of St George Illawarra’s season they were on track to defy the odds and make the finals, and even in the aftermath Griffin managed to blood plenty of youngsters who will form part of the club’s next generation of stars.

There are plenty of new faces and moving parts for the St George Illawarra in 2022 and it might take some time for all the pieces to fit — but if the wooden spoon favourites match the bookies’ expectations for them early on the drums will start beating for Anthony Griffin.

Safety rating: C+

I'm surprised we are favourites for the wooden spoon. I thought it was just one gambling agency, not a general consensus. Apart from that, I think it's a surprisingly fair analysis of Griffin's position.

According to those people, Michael McGuire, Kevin Walters, Trent Barrett, Todd Payten (narrowly), Rickey Stuart (narrowly) and Nathan Brown (narrowly) are under more pressure. Again, I think that is pretty fair except for Adam O'Brian who in my opinion, deserves to be under more pressure than Griffin.
 

RedV01

SGI NSW Cup
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

With just one season at the Dragons behind him and in the midst of a clean-out, Griffin should be safe for at least one more season.

Before the infamous barbecue tore the heart out of St George Illawarra’s season they were on track to defy the odds and make the finals, and even in the aftermath Griffin managed to blood plenty of youngsters who will form part of the club’s next generation of stars.

There are plenty of new faces and moving parts for St George Illawarra Dragons in 2022 and it might take some time for all the pieces to fit — but if the wooden spoon favourites match the bookies’ expectations for them early on the drums will start beating for Anthony Griffin.

Safety rating: C+

I'm surprised we are favourites for the wooden spoon. I thought it was just one gambling agency, not a general consensus. Apart from that, I think it's a surprisingly fair analysis of Griffin's position.

According to those people, Michael McGuire, Kevin Walters, Trent Barrett, Todd Payten (narrowly), Rickey Stuart (narrowly) and Nathan Brown (narrowly) are under more pressure. Again, I think that is pretty fair except for Adam O'Brian who in my opinion, deserves to be under more pressure than Griffin.
C+ seems fair. So far he hasn't proven here or there. I think most of us agree McGregor left the place in a mess. Was always going to be at least one season of pain. Hopefully that's behind us and now Hook is going to steer us upward.
 

Morgan

SGI NSW Cup
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

With just one season at the Dragons behind him and in the midst of a clean-out, Griffin should be safe for at least one more season.

Before the infamous barbecue tore the heart out of St George Illawarra’s season they were on track to defy the odds and make the finals, and even in the aftermath Griffin managed to blood plenty of youngsters who will form part of the club’s next generation of stars.

There are plenty of new faces and moving parts for the St George Illawarra in 2022 and it might take some time for all the pieces to fit — but if the wooden spoon favourites match the bookies’ expectations for them early on the drums will start beating for Anthony Griffin.

Safety rating: C+

I'm surprised we are favourites for the wooden spoon. I thought it was just one gambling agency, not a general consensus. Apart from that, I think it's a surprisingly fair analysis of Griffin's position.

According to those people, Michael McGuire, Kevin Walters, Trent Barrett, Todd Payten (narrowly), Rickey Stuart (narrowly) and Nathan Brown (narrowly) are under more pressure. Again, I think that is pretty fair except for Adam O'Brian who in my opinion, deserves to be under more pressure than Griffin.
Pretty tough to turn around a club completely in 2 years. There were signs he started to turn the place around last year. I'm still a little concerned by the new recruits. I'm not sure some of them will see the NRL.
 

RedV01

SGI NSW Cup
Pretty tough to turn around a club completely in 2 years. There were signs he started to turn the place around last year. I'm still a little concerned by the new recruits. I'm not sure some of them will see the NRL.
Maybe they are depth signings. Last year lack of depth, especially in the forwards, was a major issue.

It depends how much money they are on. None of out new recruits should be on big money unless another club is paying part of the contract.
 

GCRV

SGI NSW Cup
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

With just one season at the Dragons under his belt and in the midst of a clean-out, Griffin should be safe for at least one more season.

Before the disastrous barbecue tore the heart out of St George Illawarra’s season they were on track to defy the odds and make the finals, and even in the aftermath Griffin managed to blood plenty of youngsters who will form part of the club’s next generation of stars.

There are plenty of new faces and moving parts for the St George Illawarra in 2022 and it might take some time for all the pieces to fit — but if the wooden spoon favourites match the bookies’ expectations for them early on the drums will start beating for Anthony Griffin.

Safety rating: C+

I'm surprised we are favourites for the wooden spoon. I thought it was just one gambling agency, not a general consensus. Apart from that, I think it's a surprisingly fair analysis of Griffin's position.

According to those people, Michael McGuire, Kevin Walters, Trent Barrett, Todd Payten (narrowly), Rickey Stuart (narrowly) and Nathan Brown (narrowly) are under more pressure. Again, I think that is pretty fair except for Adam O'Brian who in my opinion, deserves to be under more pressure than Griffin.
Pretty tough to turn around a club completely in 2 years. There were signs he started to turn the place around last year. I'm still a little concerned by the new recruits. I'm not sure some of them will see the NRL.

Personally I cut McGregor some slack because he took over from the Price catastrophe. I wonder if in a few months I'll be able to say, 'fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'
 

Eric

Moderator
Part I


NRL 2022 Coaching clipboard sessions: Anthony Griffin on St George Illawarra’s tough questions

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin gets hit with the hard questions, including St George Illawarra’s maligned recruitment, roster issues and Matt Dufty’s parting shot.


Anthony 'Hook' Griffin has spoken up in a revealing one-on-one interview where no subject was off limits. The no-nonsense St George Illawarra Dragons coach tackled every question thrown at him, from parting shots fired from Matt Dufty (who accused Griffin of not allowing him to play the attacking football he is capable of), to criticism of his Dad’s Army-style Dragons rebuild.

Griffin talked openly about what convinced him to sign ageing stars Aaron Woods, George Burgess and Moses Mbye, and why their arrival will ultimately benefit the development of club’s special group of homegrown young guns. Griffin also revealed why lessons learned from Paul Vaughan’s notorious Covid-defying BBQ last year will make the club stronger in 2022, and why the captaincy has made Ben Hunt a better NRL player.

Q: You’ve had a full season at the club now to have a look around and see what you think needs to change. So how do you see the future going forward from here?

Anthony Griffin: It is really positive. Now, after one season, we have got a good mixture of experience and we have recruited well. But, also, the vital part is being able to produce our own players and that is starting to evolve as well. So as far as building a list and a team that we can start to sustain some success with I think things are looking good.

Q: Some have been critical of your recruitment in that you have gone and signed a lot of senior players, some who may be considered too old. But you seem to have gone about it with a specific purpose of getting value for money?

AG: Well, that is the case with someone like Aaron Woods. But, I mean, he is only 30, and he adds great depth. But guys like Jaydn Su’a, who is 24, and Frank Molo, I think is 26 turning 27, and current Origin players, I don’t know if they are over the hill.

Q: Talk about Aaron Woods, because I know he impressed you when you had your initial conversation before he signed. What did he say to convince you he’d be good for St George Illawarra?

AG: I was just impressed with what he wanted to do. He was still very motivated. He felt he probably hadn’t played his best football over the last few years. He got caught up, obviously, in the Tigers/Bulldogs/Cronulla move, and he is desperate to play well. I think if you have a look at his history he has played 18-odd Test matches, and the same amount of Origins, and like I said, he is only 30 years old.

He didn’t strike me as a guy who had lost his enthusiasm for the game. In fact, he was more convincing the other way. I think he has still has got a lot more to offer and I know he thinks he has got a lot more to offer. Obviously he brings a lot of experience and depth to our forward pack.

Q: What about a guy like Moses Mbye? He went to the Tigers and got paid a big money because he was considered a player with great hope. But he has always been shifted around without never really getting the chance to find a permanent position. How do you want to play him?

AG: Well, that was the attraction with him. Again, Moses is only 27. He has been around for a long time. I think he was playing halfback for the Bulldogs when he was only 18 or 19. But he has played in grand finals, he has played Origin. And he was really brutally honest about his own performances at the Wests Tigers, which you have got to admire.

When I spoke to him, again, he was really driven and he wants to unlock another level of performance out of himself. And the thing I liked the most was that he was really selfless in how he sees that happening. He wasn’t after a guarantee about a position. In fact, he probably sees himself more as that person who can fill a number of roles. And that’s the attraction with him, that he can play nine, seven, six or one, and he has played centre at State of Origin level. And the main thing is we don’t or won’t bring anyone to the club that is not motivated, or doesn’t have a burning desire to win, and that is what I found in him as well.

I didn't realize Aaron Woods was only 30. He seems to have been around forever. He might be a good buy.
 

GCRV

SGI NSW Cup
Part I


NRL 2022 Coaching clipboard sessions: Anthony Griffin on St George Illawarra’s tough questions

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin gets hit with the hard questions, including St George Illawarra’s maligned recruitment, roster issues and Matt Dufty’s parting shot.


Anthony 'Hook' Griffin has spoken up in an interesting one-on-one interview where no subject was taboo. The no-nonsense St George Illawarra Dragons coach tackled every question thrown at him, from parting shots fired from Matt Dufty (who accused Griffin of not allowing him to play the attacking football he is capable of), to criticism of his Dad’s Army-style St George Illawarra Dragons rebuild.

Griffin talked very honestly about what convinced him to sign ageing stars Aaron Woods, George Burgess and Moses Mbye, and why their arrival will ultimately benefit the development of club’s special group of homegrown young guns. Griffin also revealed why lessons learned from Paul Vaughan’s notorious Covid-defying BBQ last year will make the club stronger in 2022, and why the captaincy has made Ben Hunt a better NRL player.

Q: You’ve had a full season at the club now to have a look around and see what you think needs to change. So how do you see the future going forward from here?

Anthony Griffin: It is really positive. Now, after one season, we have got a good mixture of experience and we have recruited well. But, also, the vital part is being able to produce our own players and that is starting to evolve as well. So as far as building a list and a team that we can start to sustain some success with I think things are looking good.

Q: Some have been critical of your recruitment in that you have gone and signed a lot of senior players, some who may be considered too old. But you seem to have gone about it with a specific purpose of getting value for money?

AG: Well, that is the case with someone like Aaron Woods. But, I mean, he is only 30, and he adds great depth. But guys like Jaydn Su’a, who is 24, and Frank Molo, I think is 26 turning 27, and current Origin players, I don’t know if they are over the hill.

Q: Talk about Aaron Woods, because I know he impressed you when you had your initial conversation before he signed. What did he say to convince you he’d be good for St George Illawarra?

AG: I was just impressed with what he wanted to do. He was still very motivated. He felt he probably hadn’t played his best football over the last few years. He got caught up, obviously, in the Tigers/Bulldogs/Cronulla move, and he is desperate to play well. I think if you have a look at his history he has played 18-odd Test matches, and the same amount of Origins, and like I said, he is only 30 years old.

He didn’t strike me as a guy who had lost his enthusiasm for the game. In fact, he was more convincing the other way. I think he has still has got a lot more to offer and I know he thinks he has got a lot more to offer. Obviously he brings a lot of experience and depth to our forward pack.

Q: What about a guy like Moses Mbye? He went to the Tigers and got paid a big money because he was considered a player with great hope. But he has always been shifted around without never really getting the chance to find a permanent position. How do you want to play him?

AG: Well, that was the attraction with him. Again, Moses is only 27. He has been around for a long time. I think he was playing halfback for the Bulldogs when he was only 18 or 19. But he has played in grand finals, he has played Origin. And he was really brutally honest about his own performances at the Wests Tigers, which you have got to admire.

When I spoke to him, again, he was really driven and he wants to unlock another level of performance out of himself. And the thing I liked the most was that he was really selfless in how he sees that happening. He wasn’t after a guarantee about a position. In fact, he probably sees himself more as that person who can fill a number of roles. And that’s the attraction with him, that he can play nine, seven, six or one, and he has played centre at State of Origin level. And the main thing is we don’t or won’t bring anyone to the club that is not motivated, or doesn’t have a burning desire to win, and that is what I found in him as well.

I didn't realize Aaron Woods was only 30. He seems to have been around forever. He might be a good buy.
I think Aaron Woods is going to be a good buy. He was always overrated but can play long minutes, eat up the metres and provide the occasional offload.
 

Eric

Moderator
Part II


Q: George Burgess is another one who has done everything in the game but now we find out he has also suffered in silence for years with agonising pain from his hip injury. What have you seen so far and do you think he can get back to his best?

A: I think so, now after working with him for a few months. He is training the house down. Obviously it was big operation, so the performance staff have been really cautious with him. But I think the way he is going at the moment he is a great chance of playing in the trials, which is his focus. And again, he hasn’t turned 30 yet, and the last five or six years he has sort of played in pain obviously, which no one really knew the extent of it. I can only comment on the last few months since I have known him and he is similar to the previous two I spoke about, he is desperate to play at the highest level again, and he wants to prove himself because he feels like he hasn’t been at his best for a few years now. He has been fantastic for our younger players. He has really embraced the club and on and off the field he is looking really good.

Q: You throw in players like Jack de Belin, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Blake Lawrie, Tariq Sims, Andrew McCullough. It’s a tough, experienced pack.

A: Well, potentially. We are not getting ahead of ourselves. Everyone just wants to get through the pre-season. But that was always the focus. It was strategic and we have been patient. You know, Georgie Burgess and Aaron Woods are the last couple we have signed after we got Su’a and Molo and those guys. They came to us at the right time and probably at the right time in their careers where they are still hungry and passionate about their footy.

Q: And there is a bunch of really good youngsters coming through. (Tyrell) Sloan, (Talatau) Amone, (Jayden) Sullivan, the Feagai brothers (Mat and Max).

A: And (Cody) Ramsey. I mean, Zac Lomax is still only 22. The important thing with that is it is hard for them to develop if they are playing in a team that hasn’t got a strong forward pack. So it was always really important that we build our pack and the size and experience, because if you are going to produce young players through your system they need to be playing on a really solid foundation, because they are going to be inconsistent at times as they are learning over the next few years. So you need to balance that inconsistency with a really strong side that gives them the opportunity to make a few bad decisions or have an off day. That has sort of been one of my main focuses. I never wanted or suggested we needed a rebuild, but we needed to add some arsenal to what we already had.

Q: And you haven’t been afraid to make some tough decisions along the way. You made a decision on Cam McInnes, not that you didn’t want to keep him but you had a choice to make in respect to how much the Dragons were willing to pay to keep him. Paul Vaughan was sent packing. Matt Dufty is another that didn’t get a new deal. It’s a difficult job but I think you have to make decisions that you feel are in the best interests of the club.

A: Just in the year I have been here as a group and a management group with Ben Haran and Ryan Webb, we have got along really well and we have developed really well together. We are all aligned with where we are going and clearly we had to change. The club hadn’t been successful and so that is just business. You have a look at the Bulldogs at the moment. They are changing every month with their list. But you have got to be in that mode. Obviously there is a performance change and a system change with the way you go about your business, but there has also got to be some roster change both internally and bringing people from outside in that you think can represent your club well.

So that's the thinking in signing all the veteran forwards (a tough, experienced platform so the young backs can afford to have an off day here or there). Makes sense I guess. It's also telling that he doesn't seem to have written off Cody Ramsey. I don't think anyone wrote him off but as a winger, he wasn't getting the team going forward early in the tackle count. With extra kilograms, hopoefully over 90 in total before the season starts, maybe he can do that. I think if he can he is going to be a really good winger or fullback.
 

GCRV

SGI NSW Cup
Part II


Q: George Burgess is another who has done so many things in the game but now we find out he has also suffered in silence for years with agonising pain from his hip injury. What have you seen so far and do you think he can get back to his best?

A: I think so, now after working with him for a the last couple of months. He is training the house down. Obviously it was big operation, so the performance staff have been really cautious with him. But I think the way he is going at the moment he is a great chance of playing in the trials, which is his focus. And again, he hasn’t turned 30 yet, and the last five or six years he has sort of played in pain obviously, which no one really knew the extent of it. I can only comment on the last few months since I have known him and he is similar to the previous two I spoke about, he is desperate to play at the highest level again, and he wants to prove himself because he feels like he hasn’t been at his best for a few years now. He has been fantastic influence for our younger players. He has really embraced the club and on and off the field he is looking really good.

Q: You throw in players like de Belin, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Blake Lawrie, Tariq Sims, Andrew McCullough. It’s a tough, experienced pack.

A: Well, potentially. We are not getting ahead of ourselves. Everyone just wants to get through the pre-season. But that was always the focus. It was strategic and we have been patient. You know, Georgie Burgess and Aaron Woods are the last couple we have signed after we got Su’a and Molo and those guys. They came to us at the right time and probably at the right time in their careers where they are still hungry and passionate about their footy.

Q: And there is a bunch of really good youngsters coming through. (Tyrell) Sloan, (Talatau) Amone, (Jayden) Sullivan, the Feagai brothers (Mat and Max).

A: And (Cody) Ramsey. I mean, Zac Lomax is still only 22. The important thing with that is it is hard for them to develop if they are playing in a team that hasn’t got a strong forward pack. So it was always really important that we build our pack and the size and experience, because if you are going to produce young players through your system they need to be playing on a really solid foundation, because they are going to be inconsistent at times as they are learning over the next few years. So you need to balance that inconsistency with a really strong side that gives them the opportunity to make a few bad decisions or have an off day. That has sort of been one of my main focuses. I never wanted or suggested we needed a rebuild, but we needed to add some arsenal to what we already had.

Q: And you haven’t been afraid to make some tough decisions along the way. You made a decision on Cam McInnes, not that you didn’t want to keep him but you had a choice to make in respect to how much the Dragons were willing to pay to keep him. Paul Vaughan was sent packing. Matt Dufty is another that didn’t get a new deal. It’s a difficult job but I think you have to make decisions that you feel are in the best interests of the club.

A: Just in the year I have been here as a group and a management group with Ben Haran and Ryan Webb, we have got along really well and we have developed really well together. We are all aligned with where we are going and clearly we had to change. The club hadn’t been successful and so that is just business. You have a look at the Bulldogs at the moment. They are changing every month with their list. But you have got to be in that mode. Obviously there is a performance change and a system change with the way you go about your business, but there has also got to be some roster change both internally and bringing people from outside in that you think can represent your club well.

So that's the thinking in signing all the veteran forwards (a tough, experienced platform so the young backs can afford to have an off day here or there). Makes sense I guess. It's also telling that he doesn't seem to have written off Cody Ramsey. I don't think anyone wrote him off but as a winger, he wasn't getting the team going forward early in the tackle count. With extra kilograms, hopefully over 90 in total before the season starts, maybe he can do that. I think if he can he is going to be a really good winger or fullback.
Seems he is keeping his cards pretty close to his chest. As expected. Glad they have a plan. Unlike with baldy Mcgregor or Price, I actually believe them when tehy say they have a plan.
 

Morgan

SGI NSW Cup
Part II


Q: George Burgess is another one who has done everything in the game but now we find out he has also suffered in silence for years with agonising pain from his hip injury. What have you seen so far and do you think he can get back to his best?

A: I think so, now after working with him for a few months. He is training the house down. Obviously it was big operation, so the performance staff have been really cautious with him. But I think the way he is going at the moment he is a great chance of playing in the trials, which is his focus. And again, he hasn’t turned 30 yet, and the last five or six years he has sort of played in pain obviously, which no one really knew the extent of it. I can only comment on the last few months since I have known him and he is similar to the previous two I spoke about, he is desperate to play at the highest level again, and he wants to prove himself because he feels like he hasn’t been at his best for a few years now. He has been fantastic for our younger players. He has really embraced the club and on and off the field he is looking really good.

Q: You throw in players like Jack de Belin, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Blake Lawrie, Tariq Sims, Andrew McCullough. It’s a tough, experienced pack.

A: Well, potentially. We are not getting ahead of ourselves. Everyone just wants to get through the pre-season. But that was always the focus. It was strategic and we have been patient. You know, Georgie Burgess and Aaron Woods are the last couple we have signed after we got Su’a and Molo and those guys. They came to us at the right time and probably at the right time in their careers where they are still hungry and passionate about their footy.

Q: And there is a bunch of really good youngsters coming through. (Tyrell) Sloan, (Talatau) Amone, (Jayden) Sullivan, the Feagai brothers (Mat and Max).

A: And Cody Ramsey. I mean, Zac Lomax is still only 22. The most important thing with that is it is hard for them to develop if they are playing in a team that hasn’t got a strong forward pack. So it was always especially important that we construct our pack and with size and experience, because if you are going to produce young players through your system they need to be playing on a really solid foundation, because they are going to be inconsistent at times as they are learning over the next few years. So you need to balance that inconsistency with a really strong side that gives them the opportunity to make a few bad decisions or have a bad day That has sort of been one of my main focuses. I never wanted or suggested we needed a rebuild, but we needed to add some arsenal to what we already had.

Q: And you haven’t been afraid to make some difficult decisions along the way. You made a decision on Cameron McInnes, not that you didn’t want to keep him but you had a choice to make in respect to how much the Dragons were willing to pay to keep him. Paul Vaughan was sent packing. Matt Dufty is another that didn’t get a new deal. It’s a difficult job but I think you have to make decisions that you feel are in the best interests of the club.

A: Just in the year I have been here as a group and a management group with (Ben) Haran and (Ryan) Webb, we have got along really well and we have developed excellently together. We are all aligned with where we are going and clearly we had to change. The club hadn’t been successful and so that is just business. You have a look at the Bulldogs at the moment. They are changing every month with their list. But you have got to be in that mode. Obviously there is a performance change and a system change with the way you go about your business, but there has also got to be some roster change both internally and bringing people from outside in that you think can represent your club well.

So that's the thinking in signing all the veteran forwards (a tough, experienced platform so the young backs can afford to have an off day here or there). Makes sense I guess. It's also telling that he doesn't seem to have written off Cody Ramsey. I don't think anyone wrote him off but as a winger, he wasn't getting the team going forward early in the tackle count. With extra kilograms, hopefully over 90, in total before the season starts, maybe he can do that. I think if he can he is going to be a really good winger or fullback.
It "makes sense" but hardly a revelation. Though it was interesting he specifically nominated Ramsey. After the poor showing last year, I thought he may be on the way out. I'm glad he isn't. Deserves more time IMO.

As for Mcinnes, Hook didn't want to keep him. Embellish it with "salary cap" this and that or whatever but in the end, obviously didn't want him. I agree Griffin. Good hooker but far from a great hooker deserving big money.
 

RedV01

SGI NSW Cup
Part II


Q: George Burgess is another one who has done everything in the game but now we find out he has also suffered in silence for years with agonising pain from his hip injury. What have you seen so far and do you think he can get back to his best?

A: I think so, now after working with him for a few months. He is training the house down. Obviously it was big operation, so the performance staff have been really cautious with him. But I think the way he is going at the moment he is a great chance of playing in the trials, which is his focus. And again, he hasn’t turned 30 yet, and the last five or six years he has sort of played in pain obviously, which no one really knew the extent of it. I can only comment on the last few months since I have known him and he is similar to the previous two I spoke about, he is desperate to play at the highest level again, and he wants to prove himself because he feels like he hasn’t been at his best for a few years now. He has been fantastic for our younger players. He has really embraced the club and on and off the field he is looking really good.

Q: You throw in players like Jack de Belin, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Blake Lawrie, Tariq Sims, Andrew McCullough. It’s a tough, experienced pack.

A: Well, potentially. We are not getting ahead of ourselves. Everyone just wants to get through the pre-season. But that was always the focus. It was strategic and we have been patient. You know, Georgie Burgess and Aaron Woods are the last couple we have signed after we got Su’a and Molo and those guys. They came to us at the right time and probably at the right time in their careers where they are still hungry and passionate about their footy.

Q: And there is a bunch of really good youngsters coming through. (Tyrell) Sloan, (Talatau) Amone, (Jayden) Sullivan, the Feagai brothers (Mat and Max).

A: And (Cody) Ramsey. I mean, Zac Lomax is still only 22. The important thing with that is it is hard for them to develop if they are playing in a team that hasn’t got a strong forward pack. So it was always really important that we build our pack and the size and experience, because if you are going to produce young players through your system they need to be playing on a really solid foundation, because they are going to be inconsistent at times as they are learning over the next few years. So you need to balance that inconsistency with a really strong side that gives them the opportunity to make a few bad decisions or have an off day. That has sort of been one of my main focuses. I never wanted or suggested we needed a rebuild, but we needed to add some arsenal to what we already had.

Q: And you haven’t been afraid to make some tough decisions along the way. You made a decision on Cam McInnes, not that you didn’t want to keep him but you had a choice to make in respect to how much the Dragons were willing to pay to keep him. Paul Vaughan was sent packing. Matt Dufty is another that didn’t get a new deal. It’s a difficult job but I think you have to make decisions that you feel are in the best interests of the club.

A: Just in the year I have been here as a group and a management group with Ben Haran and Ryan Webb, we have got along really well and we have developed really well together. We are all aligned with where we are going and clearly we had to change. The club hadn’t been successful and so that is just business. You have a look at the Bulldogs at the moment. They are changing every month with their list. But you have got to be in that mode. Obviously there is a performance change and a system change with the way you go about your business, but there has also got to be some roster change both internally and bringing people from outside in that you think can represent your club well.

So that's the thinking in signing all the veteran forwards (a tough, experienced platform so the young backs can afford to have an off day here or there). Makes sense I guess. It's also telling that he doesn't seem to have written off Cody Ramsey. I don't think anyone wrote him off but as a winger, he wasn't getting the team going forward early in the tackle count. With extra kilograms, hopoefully over 90 in total before the season starts, maybe he can do that. I think if he can he is going to be a really good winger or fullback.
Having a comprehensible plan is important.
 

Eric

Moderator
EXPECT Matt Dufty to be fired up this season.

Already desperate to get back onto the field after being axed for the last five games of the season, the ousted St George Illawarra Dragon will have an even bigger point to prove after Anthony Griffin publicly criticised his defence.

While it was commonly thought it was fallout over game plans that led to Dufty’s demise at the Dragons, Griffin said it was deficiencies in defence that cost the fullback his St George Illawarra career.

Dufty has had plenty of time to reflect on his daily drive to Belmore given he still lives on the South Coast. 2022 is shaping as a make or break season for Dufty after the fullback took a punt on his career by signing a one-year deal.

Expect the Dolphins to show interest in Dufty, especially if they miss out on Kaylan Ponga.

Griffin was being polite. Dufty was excellent within the opposition 20 metre line but poor in every other facet of a fullback's game.

Personally I wish him well. Even if he fixes the deficiencies in his game, Sloan has more upside. I presume that's the main reason why it was deemed not worth trying to fix the deficiencies. Better to spend the time, effort and money on Sloan.
 
Top