Anthony Griffin roasted over 'desperate' Ben Hunt move amid Dragons dramas

The Dragons coach is set to make more changes to his team after dropping Zac Lomax and Jacob Liddle.

Anthony Griffin, pictured here alongside Ben Hunt.
Anthony Griffin is planning on using Ben Hunt at dummy-half for the Dragons. Image: Getty

Anthony Griffin has once again been called into question amid dramas at the Dragons after it emerged on Wednesday that Ben Hunt looks likely to play dummy-half against the Tigers this week. The under-fire coach was widely criticised after he dropped Zac Lomax and Jacob Liddle for the Magic Round clash, but they don't appear to be the only changes.

Hunt trained at hooker on Wednesday and looks likely to spend some time at dummy-half so Jayden Sullivan can play halfback. Sullivan has been named on the bench, while Moses Mbye has retained his spot as starting hooker despite many believing Liddle is the better option.

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Discussing the situation on NRL 360 on Wednesday night, leading journalist James Hooper said rival clubs in need of a halfback would be keeping tabs on the situation. "Where it is a risky play is as much as Ben Hunt is a genius at dummy-half for Queensland and Australia, at 33 years of age his preference at this point of his career is not to play dummy-half for the remainder of his days in the NRL.

“So rival clubs have already taken note of this and you can guarantee and take it to the bank that they will be coming up with game plans about how they can try and get Ben Hunt out of the Dragons if he becomes unsettled. They have moved him because they are desperate to win a game.

“They have lost four straight. Anthony Griffin to a degree I would argue has lost the plot this week by axing Lomax. He is desperate just to try and come up with answers. Ben Hunt and Griffin are like father and son best mates, so that is a really strong alliance.”

Ben Hunt, pictured here with Talatau Amone after the Dragons' loss to the Roosters.
Ben Hunt speaks to Talatau Amone after the Dragons' loss to the Roosters. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Paul Kent said the Dragons need someone like Hunt to provide better service out of dummy-half. “They have got to try and find something. Coaches come into the season and they have faith in their players and they give them opportunities and second chances," he said.

“But Griffin said this week enough is enough. He has dropped Lomax. He has dropped Jacob Liddle and he has said, righto we need to get something out of dummy-half. Ben Hunt we know can play very good minutes at dummy-half.

"Obviously his preferred position is halfback, but they have got to try something. That might just bring the zip to their attack that they haven’t quite been getting.”

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Hooper also made staggering claims that Hunt's teammates have been pushing for him to play No.9 for some time. “Behind the scenes there has been a push internally for this from within the club,” Hooper said. “There are figures and even some of the players that have actually been saying to the coach for a period of time, look we feel for the best balance of this side we might have more strike power if Ben goes in and plays dummy-half.”

Braith Anasta suggested Griffin should only be listening to Hunt and what he wants considering he is the captain and being paid upwards of $1 million per season. “I don’t mind the idea, but Ben Hunt has been their best player since forever, since he has been there by a long way,” Anasta said.

“I’m not listening to the other players. I am listening to Ben Hunt. That is my take on it, but that is not to say that it won’t work because he is such a great player and we have seen that at No.9 at Origin level. So it could work but I would be listening to Ben Hunt more so than everyone else.”

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