Anthony Griffin’s four-year tenure may abruptly end in Melbourne on Friday night but the Broncos coach insists the must-win NRL clash is not about him.
The way Anthony Griffin sees it, Brisbane’s must-win NRL clash in Melbourne on Friday night is not about him.
But the man affectionately known as “Hook” will find it hard to stay out of the headlines if the Broncos win and pull off something Griffin’s bosses clearly doubted their coach could inspire – a top eight berth.
Players have made no secret of the fact they will be “doing it for Hook” when their season goes on the line against the Storm.
Especially in Griffin’s 100th game at the helm.
However, they may be tempted to say something else to the Broncos bosses who tapped Griffin on the shoulder in July if they notch a rare win in Melbourne – “I told you so”.
“A lot of players are here because of Hook,” Broncos forward Matt Gillett said.
“He stuck by us so we want to stick by him and do a good job for him.
“I am sure he doesn’t want us to be thinking that way but he is why a lot of players are around here – it’s because of him.”
Griffin could not avoid the spotlight on the eve of a match that could abruptly end his four-year Broncos tenure.
At first Griffin attempted to deflect it by finding the funny side of his “dead man walking” status.
Asked by a reporter on Thursday if it was a do or die clash, Griffin laughed: “That’s a real sharp question.
“You just need to replay (his response from) the last five weeks.”
But the biggest laugh from Griffin came when asked if he sensed that his players were “doing it for him”.
“No, mate, no,” said Griffin of a Brisbane side that had won three of their past four games to keep their finals hopes alive.
“It’s a great time of the year to be playing games like this – that’s my feeling.”
Then Griffin attempted his best impersonation of the man who will replace him next season – Wayne Bennett.
Brisbane must end a seven-game losing streak against the Storm and clinch their first win in Melbourne since round nine 2010 to scrape into the finals.
Still, Griffin tried to convince the media it was just another game.
“We have been in this spot for five weeks, it is nothing new for us,” he said.
The closest Griffin got to touching on his situation was when his 100th game was mentioned.
“I would have been happy with one (game) four or five years ago,” he said.
“It was always an ambition of mine to coach in the NRL. To think I got to 100 is a nice feeling.”