Enjoy Lockyer while you can: Griffin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Enjoy Lockyer while you can: Griffin

Wayne Heming 31/03/2011 05:39:40 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin hopes his young players are ready to make the most of their remaining chances to play alongside NRL champion Darren Lockyer.

While Griffin was not suggesting his players adopt a "do it for Darren" mentality, he said they should appreciate how privileged they were to share the farewell season of one of the game's greats.

"I hope they're looking forward to playing with him," said Griffin, when asked if Lockyer's retirement announcement could inspire his players to dig deeper in 2011.

"The number of opportunities to play with someone like Darren Lockyer obviously now is getting less and less.

"Lock has asked the players not to pay too much attention to his decision but I hope they realise they are in a privileged position and I'm sure they do."

It's not lost on Griffin that he's equally privileged to be making his NRL head coaching debut in the final season of Lockyer's glittering career.

But speculating about a premiership farewell is several steps too far for him.

"If that happened it would be a dream come true but we're 10,000 miles from that and I don't want to talk about premierships," said Griffin ahead of the clash with Penrith on Friday night.

Lockyer is on record as saying he believes the young crop of talented players the Broncos have assembled could do something "special" this year.

"For me, or for any coach, the opportunity to work with Darren Lockyer, particularly in his last year, it is a privilege," said Griffin.

"I think we work well together. I've got a great relationship with him, I think we're both getting something out of working together.

"Like the players, I know this is his last year and I want to do the best job I can to help him go out on a high note.

Griffin was confident Lockyer's retirement announcement and talk Wayne Bennett was headed back to Brisbane had not shifted the players' focus away from the clash with a Panthers outfit desperate to make amends for a poor performance against Cronulla last weekend.

"It's the old bounce-back factor again," said Griffin.

"We know what Penrith have got.

"They've got four or five State of Origin players and a very strong forward pack led by Petero Civoniceva.

"But for us it's more about being consistent in our process.

"They (Penrith) might come at you after winning by 40 or losing by 40 but in the end that's not the issue if you've prepared yourself."

Penrith headed north on Thursday with hooker Kevin Kingston replacing injured halfback Luke Walsh.

Kingston hasn't played halfback in more than 100 NRL games since his debut in 2005.

Match-winners Lachlan Coote, Luke Lewis and Nigel Plum were cleared to take on Brisbane whose only change is the addition of Dale Copley on the wing allowing Gerard Beale to cover for injured fullback Josh Hoffman.

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