The Melbourne Storm hold a major stranglehold over the Broncos, something that Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin is intent on fixing on Friday night.
Broncos coach Anthony Griffin has shut down talk of his imminent departure as Brisbane focus purely on ending their Storm drought on Friday night.
Told five days ago he would be replaced by Wayne Bennett at Red Hill, Griffin had no time whatsoever for what sort of reaction the NRL club’s decision would breed from his charges.
A large number of Broncos players have voiced disappointment in their coach’s misfortune and admitted it would be a distraction heading into the crunch clash at Suncorp Stadium.
But Griffin was adamant on Thursday that his axing was in the past and not to be discussed ahead of the “incredibly hard” challenge bogey-side Melbourne presented.
“There’s been enough said. I’ve moved on and they’ve moved on,” he said.
“We just all need to react the right way to build on last week’s win over the Warriors.”
The Storm’s six-game winning streak over the Broncos, as well as a remarkable 18-4 record in the past decade, has highlighted the stranglehold Craig Bellamy’s men have over Brisbane.
Melbourne have also won five of the last six meetings at Suncorp Stadium where the likes of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater also revel playing for Queensland.
“We all know what’s coming with the Storm,” said Griffin, a former Melbourne assistant. “They always play their best football against us and they always get a rev-up from the coach about beating Brisbane.
“We’re steeling ourselves for that challenge.
“We’ve played some really brilliant football games up here but just haven’t been able to get them up here.”
Griffin has made his nightowl trio of Jack Reed, Daniel Vidot and Corey Oates wait at least another week before reclaiming their starting spot following their mid-week boozing.
Last-start match-winner Dale Copley keeps his spot at centre and wingers Lachlan Maranta and Jordan Kahu will stay on the flanks while Oates may return to the bench.
Copley and converted five-eighth Ben Barba will man the left-side edge which the Storm are sure to target following Barba’s difficulties handling Warriors back-rower Ben Henry.
“They will obviously go down that side with Cronk, (Kevin) Proctor, Slater out the back, (Will) Chambers,” Griffin said. “That’s a real pet side for them.
“We’ve done some extras. (Barba) wants to play in that position so he has to take some responsibility for it.”
Journeyman forward Todd Lowrie has recovered from a head knock to take his place on the bench for his 200th NRL match at his fifth club.