Timeline of Griffin's descent into Dragons' dungeon

·2-min read


SEPTEMBER 2020: Anthony Griffin is appointed as St George Illawarra's new coach on a two-year deal, beating out Dean Young and David Furner to replace Paul McGregor. He is charged with bringing through their junior talent and improving the team's defence.

MARCH 2021: The Dragons win three of their first four games under Griffin, with his "moneyball" rebuild of the club widely acclaimed. Recruits include veterans Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire and Moses Mbye.

JULY 2021: Thirteen Dragons players attend a barbecue at Paul Vaughan's during Sydney's COVID lockdown, defying government stay-at-home orders. They are fined a combined $305,000, Vaughan's contract is torn up, and all visitors cop a one-game suspension. The Dragons do not win another game that season, dropping their last eight matches.

FEBRUARY 2022: Griffin's contract is extended by one year, through to the end of 2023. Questions are asked after the Dragons lose four of their first five games.

JULY 2022: With pressure mounting on Griffin, the Dragons coach tells his assistants Peter Gentle and Mathew Head they will not be kept on for 2023. Gentle is so frustrated by the decision, he does not see out the 2022 season. Their axings come ahead of a three-game losing streak that kills off the Dragons' finals hopes, while concerns also emerge about a mole in the side leaking stories.

SEPTEMBER 2022: Young stars Tyrell Sloan and Jayden Sullivan request releases from the club, but are denied. They later retract the requests, saying they have mended their issues with Griffin. Jack Gosiewski and George Burgess also criticise Griffin after going unsigned.

FEBRUARY 2023: An off-season that began with questions over low attendance at the Dragons' awards night ends with an early-morning shouting match between Zane Musgrove and Mikaele Ravalawa after the club's Charity Shield loss in Mudgee. Francis Molo and Talatau Amone also find themselves in court for separate criminal matters.

MARCH 2023: Griffin is told by St George Illawarra's board they want to see the availability of possible replacements for 2024, but promise him he is still a possible option.

MAY 2023: Six straight losses seal Griffin's fate, and he is sacked as coach. Ryan Carr will take over in the interim, while the Dragons continue their pursuit of Jason Ryles to replace Griffin.