What Corey Norman feared about Griffin reunion
Dragons star Corey Norman says he never thought he'd be working with Anthony Griffin again, and thankfully for the playmaker the coach's days of dishing out a nasty spray look far behind him.
The pair find themselves back in good company - having first met at the Broncos from 2011-2013 - after Griffin was handed the Dragons' top job in the wake of Paul McGregor's departure.
Back then, Norman had just embarked on his NRL journey, moonlighting between reserves and first grade under Griffin's tenure.
Norman would make a name for himself at Red Hill before being scooped up by the Eels where he spent four years. He left Parramatta to join the Red V in 2019.
Now reuniting some eight years later, Norman is just glad Griffin has "chilled" as he recalled the sprays he'd often find himself at the wrong end of in Brisbane.
"It's been really good. It's pretty crazy how everything comes back around and I'm back with Hook," Norman told Wide World of Sports.
"Obviously, I first met Hook during [Under] 20s and first grade when I was at the Broncos, but it's been so good seeing Hook as a head coach again and he's doing a good job so far.
"I never thought we'd have the chance to link up again. That's why it was so weird when he got here and we sort of had a chat and all these memories came flooding back of when I was younger.
"I got into him about how he used to spray me back in the day in 20s and that – he had a fair spray in him back in the day but he seems a lot calmer these days which is good for me.
"He's got a pretty good spray in him when he needs it, but he can also be very chilled."
After another listless year for the Dragons, Norman is confident Griffin can help him rediscover his best self in his pursuit to lead from the halves alongside another one of the coach's former pupils, Ben Hunt.
"I think (he can get the best out of me again). Obviously, it starts with me, I'm the one out there and playing but I'm really enjoying being at training and being coached by him again," Norman said.
"I've been loving pre-season which is a good start. When you're keen to get in and get flogged, that's a good sign."
Norman was also buoyed by the competition firming for spots in the halves in the Dragons' 2021 line-up.
Adam Clune impressed last year when he was handed the keys, while Hunt has also staked his claim to return to the No.7 jersey.
Norman sees the competition for places as a good sign for a club looking to leave behind a decade of woe.
"It's been really good having some competition in the halves," Norman said.
"Adam Clune and Bud Sullivan are there as well as Ben Hunt. All four of us are training really well and I think it's healthy to have that competition.
"Sometimes you need that I think it's a good thing we've got that this year at the Dragons."
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