Wendell Sailor blasts Dragons amid 'disgraceful' Anthony Griffin furore

Wendell Sailor has taken St George Illawarra to task over the NRL club's handling of Anthony Griffin's departure from the club.

Anthony Griffin and Wendell Sailor.

The Dragons have been absolutely blasted by former NRL star Wendell Sailor over the handling of Anthony Griffin's sacking, with he and Mark Carroll labelling the situation 'diabolical'. Griffin was sacked in farcical scenes earlier this week, with Dragons player sent out to fulfil media obligations before being informed of their coach's departure.

Sailor, who played 33 games for St George Illawarra, said the club had done a disservice to its fans by taking until round 11 to finally decide to show Griffin the door - a move Sailor said was clearly a 'long time coming'. The Dragons are 2-8 and have shown few signs of improvement this season, which follows two previous middling seasons under Griffin.

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“Look I mean I think we’ve all known for a long time this was coming, it is just disappointing because once again this year the fans miss out,” he told Triple M. “I don’t think they are a chance of making the eight obviously, Captain Obvious could work that out.

“Once again it is this harmony at the club that hasn’t been on track for a while now, and it stems from the top as far as I am concerned.”

Meanwhile on Fox League, Carroll was scathing of the way the Dragons had handled the situation. He said the fact that Jack de Belin and Ben Murdoch-Masila had spoken to the media barely an hour before they were informed Griffin had been sacked was 'diabolical'.

Star halfback Ben Hunt, a strong supporter of Griffin's, has reportedly been left furious by the treatment of both the former coach and the players. Carroll said it was crucial that the Dragons recruit an experienced and confident head coach, as their problems weren't limited to their on-field struggles.

“I just look at the way it’s been handled. As they say, fish always rots at the top. Say no more,” Carroll said. “It starts at the top and now it’s filtered through.

"Even some of the players that were talking there like ‘we’ve got to have a bit more of a go’, well you’re the guys who got rid of this coach. You didn’t aim up for him. He wasn’t the one out there dropping balls and missing tackles.”

Carroll was most perplexed by the fact that Dragons players faced media both before and after the sacking was announced, but the likes of Dragons chairman Andrew Lancaster did not. He described what unfolded on Tuesday as a 's**t fight'.

“Excuse the French, it was a s**t fight there. Who’d wanna be at this club? It’s just absolutely diabolical.”

Dragons lashed over 'gutless' sacking of Anthony Griffin

Ryan Carr will take over in the interim, with the Dragons assistant having previously served as an attacking coach at Parramatta. Jason Ryles remains the primary target to take over as coach next year, with fellow former Dragon Ben Hornby another option.

The Dragons informed a number of players that they would be fronting the media only moments before Griffin was sacked. Griffin had the support of many players in the squad, notably Hunt, which only made the decision more baffling.

St George Illawarra Dragons players gather during a break in play.
The St George Illawarra coaching job has been regarded as one of the most potentially difficult in the NRL. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

NRL commentator Andrew Voss labelled the club's move as 'gutless' for letting the players take the media hit before the board announcement. "What a gutless way to do this. I make no apology for saying that," Voss said on SEN Radio.

"You have your players turning up to work today, you throw them under the buss at 8 o'clock this morning. Where the question is going to be nothing but, what the hell is going on.

"You have Anthony Griffin turn up to do his job today and you send the media down there because we don't want them hanging around our board meeting.

"What an unprofessional way to run your business. I tell you what, get together at 5am this morning and make the decision. Get it done. Don't have your players out on a limb at 5 o'clock this morning. It is a bloody disgrace."

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