Broncos coach Anthony Griffin says Brisbane’s playing group won’t fracture over his controversial board-driven exit.
Selfless coach Anthony Griffin has assured Brisbane’s tilt at an NRL finals appearance won’t be derailed by his controversial axing.
Griffin will see out the 2014 season despite board-members secretly luring home Wayne Bennett when their current coach still had a year left on his contract.
It comes after Brisbane players voiced overwhelming support to Griffin and produced a stirring 28-22 comeback victory over the in-form Warriors on Saturday night.
Co-captains Corey Parker and Justin Hodges both spoke out passionately for the 47-year-old while prop Josh McGuire said he didn’t want to play for anyone else.
But the philosophical Griffin, putting the club before himself, admirably did his best to bury concerns his team would fracture over his demise.
“That won’t happen,” he said. “I’m still the coach and no-one’s going anywhere.
“No one is going to be a victim out of this. It’s not going to be us against them or me wanting to vent any personal issues.
“We’ll get on with business.
“We have a fantastic opportunity.”
Told by chief executive and close friend Paul White on Sunday, Griffin quickly went to work to sweep the decision behind him and set sail for the play-offs and a title shot in seven weeks time.
The Broncos sit sixth but have a tough run into the finals, starting with Melbourne Storm on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.
He has ultimately paid the price for mediocrity in the past three seasons that has featured a 46 per cent success rate.
But he was proud of the platform he’d laid for Bennett, especially with the development of the likes of Ben Hunt, Andrew McCullough and Dale Copley.
“I’m a realist and I understand that there’s going to be decisions made about you,” Griffin said. “It’s a high-risk, high-reward business.
“But Saturday night just proved to everyone that there’s nothing wrong with this place.
“If we were down on character and culture and all the things you want in a football club then that would have been shown out, particularly after the way we started.
“That’s my main message. It’s been set up to succeed.”
The laidback Griffin showed his dry sense of humour when asked how his players took the news at a morning meeting at Red Hill.
“Some guys I had to give a cuddle,” he said “The two captains were very, very strong, they were very good.
“But there might have been a couple cheering, I don’t know.”