Anthony Griffin Released

News has just surfaced that Anthony has been informed by the club that his services are no longer required beyond 2018. This may have immediate effect with Griffin leaving today and Cameron Ciraldo filling in as interim coach for the rest of this season. The decision for Griffin to leave was mutual according to the statement.


PRESS CONFERENCE - PHIL GOULD (Panthers General Manager)



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wow … read my lips Gus, WOW :astonished:

Well, there have been rumours since the pre-season, so I can’t say I’m surprised at the decision. I AM surprised at the timing.

Given the team’s performance to be in finals contention in spite of a crippling injury toll, I think Griffin deserved better.

First Cleary gets moved on, now Griffin, having steered the team to 3 consecutive finals series, with 2 years left on his contract.

Penrith is starting to look like the Labor Party with Rudd & Gillard, and Phil Gould looks more & more like Bill Shorten (and I’m a Labor voter!)

I know it’s a cutthroat business, but I’m disappointed by the club’s lack of loyalty and ruthlessness. I feel terribly sorry for Griffin. Who’d be a Panther’s coach?!

Thank you, Hook, for all your hard work and effort. You deserved better than you were given.

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I find the timing bizarre. Surely it would have been better to wait until after the season, or about a month ago, instead of this close to the finals. Hopefully it doesn’t upset our run in.

While I’ve never been a huge fan of Hook, you have to give credit where it is due, he is the only coach to ge5 us into 3 consecutive finals series (assuming we don’t bomb out from here.

As to the future, I’ve got the feeling this is a move to have the Cleary’s together at the club.

Panthers has just announced that Phil Gould will front an 8am press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) regarding the decision.

Mutley, I don’t know that Ivan Cleary would come back to Penrith after being shafted so unceremoniously, but I think you’re right about trying to shore up Nathan’s future with the club. Ciraldo is supposed to be close to Nathan Cleary, so if he takes over, it might increase the chances of NC staying with the club.

But, if I were Cleary, I’d think twice about staying with a club that showed so little loyalty or regard for someone who - seemingly - served it well.

Hope we re-sign Luai. I’ve got a feeling he might be our starting half next year.

There must be more to this than what is being reported, not because of the decision but the timing.

Maybe has to do with Cleary? Who knows?

Very very strange considering we are weeks out from the finals, in which we can finish the regular season in any position from 1 - 8 (most likely to n the middle).

Selection choices? A star player unhappy? Poor conduct? All speculation, wonder if we will ever find out.

Interesting Gus mentioned the Cleary (snr) sacking on TV a week or two ago. Repeated he was tired and needed a rest, maybe Gus now considers him rested?

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I agree. The timing of this is terrible, and it shows a definite lack of respect from management. I will reserve my feelings on this until tomorrow morning and the press conference, but this does not look good for the club in my opinion. is reporting Hook was told his services weren’t required next year, at which point he resigned effective immediately.

Make of this what you will.


Gould delivered the news to Griffin on Monday and revealed the coach had lost support from his playing group along with other members of his coaching staff.

if Gould told Hook his services were not required next year
he’d have a plan. A plan that’s been hatched for a few months
now I expect. Names thrown around include Barrett, Cartwright,
obviously Cleary. What about Fittler?

So long as it’s not Bennett. That’ enough to turn you into an eel.

The Western Weekender ‘Exclusive’ has suggested the Panthers are set to make a play for Ivan Cleary.

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In about 2 months time this will be seen as a masterstroke … or a complete bollocks.



While Getting Ivan back would be fantastic I am not sure I can see him moving on from the Tigers especially given how well they have improved under his command this year. In saying that, we might have to wait until 2020. If so, would be more than happy with Cam Ciraldo doing the job until then. He will have plenty of advisors / mentors around him to get the job done and he is well respected by all…

I have not heard any talk of Garth Brennan coming back. Could this be on the cards given his success with the lower grades who are all now in first grade.

The talk of Bennet coming in is a little scary. I think we would have too many personalities in the club which could become an issue and a lot of butting heads.

Have to feel for players such as Peachey who probably made their decision to move on at the end of this year due to the coach.

While not a fan of Griffin he has done a good job and one can only wish him the best for the future.

Nobody is bigger than the club and I hope whatever decision is made is in the best interest of the players and the fans.

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I have a completely different spin on it. We all know Gus and how he loves to dominate a conversation, I would suggest in Gus’s mind, Griffin doesn’t have the ability to get past making the finals, he is not a ranter or raver that inspires aggression, he is a calm, calculated person who believes in people to do their best.

That is not a Gus tactic, come finals time, Gus will be our “inspiration” before games to get the boys pumped, that is all I can put it down too, although he could do that anyway…

I can just see the board room, “Lets make sure we are in the finals before we make any changes, once that is confirmed, Phil can take ownership”. Phil, make sure Cameron is aware that come finals time you will be calling the shots !!

Either that or Bennet has given Gus an ultimatum, i.e. if I don’t like what I hear this week, I will pull the pin on the Broncos, but I will be walking straight into another job, I have plenty of offers both here and overseas, prove to me that you want me at Penrith !!

I would suggest Cleary is a definite NO - I know I wouldn’t come back if I were him.

WHO THE F@#$ KNOWS LOL - It may just be Gus puffing out his chest…

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Might be too much history for a Cleary renaissance.
Perish the thought but a potential prodigal son is currently unemployed. Clue, his first name begins with D.

Ok, press conference is done. Here is what Gus has said. So this is what I can piece together from all the media over the last 24 hours.

Why was Anthony Griffin Sacked?

Gus said that Griffin was a “Old School” coach and did not appreciate input from his coaching staff, he was hard headed and had a “My way or the highway” approach to coaching, and that did not reflect the modern game. It had left to some coaching staff to leave (such as Referees Consultant Luke Phillips) and has left the players’ opinion of him diminished as every week passed. Attempts to get Anthony’s thinking around to a more modern approach, but fell on deaf ears. He was called into a meeting with Gus and his manager yesterday and told of the situation where the club were releasing him at seasons end, but it was agreed that he would leave immediately instead.

So what happens now?

Short term, Cameron Ciraldo and Peter Wallace will fill in the roles of Coach and Assisant Coach in the interim and will be supported by the Acedemy Training team supported by Greg Alexander and Phil Gould. Expressions of interest and ‘résumes’ have been submitted already with 12 submitted overnight ranging from lower grade and assistant coaches to current NRL coaches. It has been said by Gus that they have a preference and they are “waiting for an response” but has not revealed who it is.


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:mega: Added following media to head of discussion.

  • :movie_camera: Press Conference - Phil Gould Panthers General Manager)
  • :studio_microphone: Interview - Brian Fletcher (Panthers Group CEO)
  • :studio_microphone: Interview - James Maloney (Panthers NRL Team Captain)

Panthers Group CEO Brian Fletcher had indicated that Panthers had approached two current NRL coaches and awaiting replies from them. He was asked if Ivan Cleary was one of them, while he didn’t confirm this but the face he couldn’t answer the question immediately would suggest he was one of the two coaches approached.

The media are suggesting the two coaches are Ivan Cleary and Wayne Bennett.

UPDATE: It has been confirmed that Ivan Cleary has been offered a 4 year deal at Panthers starting 2019. It will require him to break his current contract at Wests Tigers. Tigers have confirmed they will not grant a release if asked for one.