Why St George Illawarra Dragons coach Anthony Griffin waited to tell Zac Lomax why he was axed

“Back to acting, hopefully for his sake it won’t be too long [out of the NRL side]. It’s not something you have time frames or set remedies for. It’s just part of football.

“I have a lot of responsibility as a coach and Zach has a lot of responsibility as a player. It’s not the first time someone has been let go at our club or any other club.

“Any change we make is in the best interest of the team in the long run. It’s not about us flippantly thinking, ‘If we do this, it might work’. It’s for the long-term of everyone, the players and the club. Calculated and measured by interests.”

Lomax shot well below expectations, and the Dragons have taken as many shots as their opponents in each of their past four losses. They actually outscored the Roosters in their Anzac Day defeat.

Jack Bird will take over as goalie at Suncorp Stadium.

It will also be the best chance to see if Sullivan and Amon can be a half-time duo going forward, with Griffin insisting the club is on the right track to continue their success.

“The best way to build for the long term is internally, and all the great clubs have done that,” Griffin said.

“You see what Penrith has been through in the last few years. Three or four years ago, you see where Brisbane is going now. [Payne] Haas, Jordan Ricky [Kotoni] staggs and all those people [debuted]. Building success takes time.

“I’m not talking about what’s happening at the moment. But that’s the way the NRL is and it’s going to take a lot of time to be successful. Success that will continue.

“Our club is doing really well with that at the moment. At some stage this week you’ll have Sullivan, Amone and [Tyrell] Sloan played behind Ben Hunt. You have two Feagai boys playing together. You have Blake Lawrie, who is shaping up to be one of the best props in the league.

“Our club is evolving or developing and it’s going to be a very strong club.”

While Griffin is dead set on his future, insisting he’s happy with his role and trying to focus on his players, he’s not hiding Hunter’s move to hooker, which he’s had between State of Origin and Australia.


Hunter’s deal with the Dragons was extended for two years late last year, tying him to a contract with the club through 2025.

“To his credit, when I spoke to him about it, he thought about it. [moving to hooker]”It’s just a sign of him being a leader who’s thinking about what’s best for the team,” Griffin said.

“As a guy who’s going to be a 300-game center back, he could have easily pooh-poohed that. For him, this move is a great example for everyone on the team.

“If I had asked him to pick the team, his preference would have been centre-backs. But he understands that at the moment we’re all around him and he can give us more leadership by catching the ball first.”

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