How a bunch of computer nerds could decide Anthony Griffin's future

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Anthony Griffin, pictured here during Jack de Belin's return in the NSWRL in May.
Anthony Griffin looks on during Jack de Belin's return in the NSWRL in May. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

No one will be sweating on the release of the 2022 NRL draw more than Anthony Griffin.

The St George Illawarra coach will have the best part of two months, if he’s lucky, to convince the Dragons hierarchy he’s worthy of another deal for 2023.

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Failure to win at least five or six games in the opening eight rounds of the ’22 campaign may see Hook added to the list of Saints coaches who came, saw and failed to conquer.

The Dragons drew up Griffin’s contract in their favour, working in a clause that gives them the option to hire or fire ahead of a third season.

Some refer to it as the DMW (Dead Man Walking) clause.

If the Red V are sitting on a 2-6 or even 3-5 record by early May, the pressure on the board to act will be immense.

Remember, this is the most scrutinised coaching job in rugby league.

After his first 80 minutes in charge, following the round one loss to Cronulla in March, stories about Griffin being under pressure were written.

The creases on his polo shirt were still fresh but still the angry mob came for him.

“I thought Hook was meant to make us better. What the hell is this s***. It’s like Steve Price came back,” one fan posted online.

Another added: “Be prepared to refund our membership fees if you want us to watch this crap. The Red V is supposed to mean something.”

Dragons players, pictured here walking from the field after their final game of the 2021 season.
Dragons players walk from the field after their final game of the 2021 season. (Photo by Dan Peled/Getty Images)

Anthony Griffin sweating on release of NRL draw

The carcasses of former coaches unable to deliver on the relentless pursuit of excellence at St George Illawarra are scattered all the way down the Princess Highway like littered Coke cans.

Griffin is the definition of pragmatic. He knows all too well the Saints board will be twitchy if early wins are hard to come by.

The 2022 NRL draw is expected to lob by Friday.

You wouldn’t blame Griffin for constantly hitting the refresh button on his computer to see what the computer nerds at Canadian company Optimal Planning Solutions – purveyors of the draw - dish up for his side.

Last year’s draw worked out well for the Dragons, that first up loss to the Sharks followed by four straight wins.

They got Manly at a good time and avoided the other top four teams (as it turned out) South Sydney, Penrith and Melbourne until round 10.

It allowed Griffin some breathing space to get some runs on the board until reality came calling and the defeats set in over the colder months.

Saints tailed off to finish 11th, missing the finals for the fifth time in six seasons.

Griffin won’t be there long enough to see it become six times in seven.

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