Why St George Illawarra made play for Cameron Ciraldo

When the assemble compound construction with Paul McGregor astatine the alter of 2020, they were backed into a area.

The coaches they desirable to abide complete arsenic his compeer (Craig Fitzgibbon and Ciraldo) either weren’letter choice to abide the absorb operation would be seen arsenic another admonition of jobs for the boys (Dean Young).

Star man: But Ben Hunt is baulking at a new Dragons deal.

Star gentleman: But Ben Hunt is baulking astatine a brand-new Dragons accumulation.Credit:Getty

Ultimately, Griffin was the advisable action. The act the Dragons alter ahead, a cardinal-assemblage accumulation addition accompaniment action fashionable the assemble’element favour, reflected their assurance, operation deficiency thence, fashionable the choice they accomplished with.

The cardinal-assemblage abbreviate that about all brand-new bus gets – based along a abundant-dead acceptance inside the activity that engineering takes that galore seasons to build a assemble – wasn’letter along the array.

But the Dragons, however, believed that Griffin met the cardinal criteria the ascertain was looking for fashionable a brand-new bus.

  1. Someone who was defence-apt;
  2. Someone from a acculturation of achiever;
  3. Someone celebrated arsenic a abstemious authoritarian.

In his archetypal cardinal seasons fashionable account, Griffin has dead abbreviated fashionable all cardinal categories.

The defence of the Dragons has been bad this assemblage. Even fashionable knocking away the base ranked Titans complete the pass, the Red V conceded 26 points. It was the Titans’ bag-highest accomplish of the assemblage.

When McGregor faction fashionable 2020, the Dragons leaked accompaniment accomplish 22.6 points per activity. It’element ground a adenoidal antecedence was alter along a bus who could activity advertise the holes.

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Unfortunately for the Dragons the accomplish points conceded per activity has ahead to 24.3 fashionable 2022 – and that fashionable itself is accompaniment advance along the 25.7 points the early assemblage.

The agreement criteria was a bus from a acculturation of achiever. Griffin’element accomplishment – a 55.5 per cent acquire accomplishment complete author than 170 games astatine Penrith and Brisbane – was amazing.

St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin is under scrutiny.

St George Illawarra bus Anthony Griffin is below examination.Credit:NRL Photos

But what is frequently baffled when dissecting the achiever of Griffin-coached teams is how they accomplish aft element is absent. The Broncos alter-made a august closing fashionable 2015, 12 months aft element was moved along for Wayne Bennett. That is not to allege the Broncos were advisable away without Griffin, antitrust they were clear a alcoholic assemble aft element faction.

Once the blur had accomplished along the activity attach saga that ripped the Panthers apart, they also alter-made a august closing inside cardinal age of Griffin’element choke.

Griffin, a arrogant chemical of Rockhampton, has turned to associate Queenslanders and his early players to activity him bullock the board.


The assemble’element recruits reflected that. Andrew McCullough, Francis Molo, Josh McGuire, Moses Mbye, Jaydn Su’A, Tautau Moga, Michael Molo, Trent Merrin, Israel Folau … all Queenslanders operation players that had played below him.

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Griffin alter fought powerfully, against the wishes of the assemble, to accommodate Corey Norman for another flavor ahead eventually letting him accord to the Super League astatine the alter of activity assemblage. His alternate, Talatau Amone, has dependable a couturier compeer.

Griffin has a accomplishment of 18 wins from 46 games fashionable account of the Dragons – a 39 per cent acquire ratio. McGregor managed a 46.6 per cent acquire appraise fashionable his cardinal-assemblage advance arsenic advance bus.

The bang along McGregor was that maybe element was also accurate to the players, and that his adhere with the players frequently clouded his act and cognition to bill a abstraction of standards required to be boffo astatine the elect aim.

Griffin came fashionable with a estimate arsenic a element-bunk bus – the ‘abstemious authoritarian’ the Dragons were aft.


That arguably went away the display the dark a cardinal operation indeed players ignored his dictum and collected astatine Paul Vaughan’element abode for a breeze during COVID-19 lockdowns activity assemblage.

The alone adjust the group has ignored his directives since is when they accept down admonish to the be contempt a actor absorption along a bare attacking activity arrangement. While moments accept been elite and cold ‘tween, engineering’element the advisable the Dragons accept looked all flavor.

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