Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin says his team needs to take a win-at-all-costs approach to Friday’s crucial NRL fixture against Canterbury.
Brisbane must cut out simple lapses and adopt a finals attitude now if they’re to reach the NRL top eight.
That’s the opinion of Broncos coach Anthony Griffin ahead his side’s match against Canterbury on Friday, when he tries to reverse a slump that has resulted in Brisbane’s slip to 10th on the ladder.
The Broncos have won just one of their past six matches and know a defeat against the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium will almost certainly leave them needing favours from other clubs to reach the finals.
Griffin says last weekend’s tough 16-4 defeat at table toppers Manly showed the good and the bad in his team.
While the Broncos did well to be in the game with the scores locked at 4-4 in the second half, costly errors late in the match highlighted to Griffin just what his team cannot afford to do against the Bulldogs.
“We’ve just got to be more composed,” Griffin said.
“At four-all after 55 minutes both teams had a chance to win the game and we probably threw a lot of our chances away.
“Defensively we’ve got to make sure we hang in for the full 80 minutes.
“Everyone made some bad decisions last week. There were a couple of offloads that weren’t on that got thrown. We just need to relax and enjoy the 80-minute battle. Rather than trying to finish it before we’ve earned the right to.”
The Broncos will go into the match without experienced centre Justin Hodges, who injured his hamstring early in the loss to the Sea Eagles.
Jack Reed will move into the centres to replace Hodges, with Lachlan Maranta coming onto the right wing.
The Bulldogs are also battling form as they try to get themselves back in the hunt for a top four finish.
A third consecutive defeat last weekend to Penrith left Des Hasler’s men fifth on the ladder and looking nervously over the shoulder at those below them.
NSW State of Origin player Josh Morris and Aiden Tolman will return to action for the visitors, with Mitch Brown coming onto the wing for the injured Chase Stanley (shoulder).
Griffin said, despite their recent form, the Bulldogs present a tough challenge particularly given they’ve won seven of their 11 trips to Brisbane.
“Probably like most teams in the competition apart from Manly they’ve had their good periods and their bad periods and that’s why it’s such a tight comp,” Griffin said.
“They’re such a strong side. Their strength’s their forward pack, very big pack. They’ve got two State of Origin halves that play off the back of that. They’re going to be very hard to beat.”