Griffin wary of cagey Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Griffin wary of cagey Roosters

Steve Jancetic And Laine Clark 15/04/2011 06:57:20 PM Comments (0)

He may only be new on the NRL scene, but Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has been around long enough to know Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith is prone to the odd mind game.

So when news filtered north of the border on Thursday that Roosters ace Todd Carney had been ruled out of Saturday night's clash at Gosford due to a groin injury, Griffin didn't exactly rush to draw up a new game plan.

"We prepared really hard for him to be there, and he might still be there - you never know," Griffin said at Friday's final training run.

"With any team that you're playing, you never know until you get the sheet an hour before the game."

Smith is adamant Carney won't play - the Dally M medallist having aggravated the same injury that cruelled his pre-season in last week's loss to the Warriors.

With or without Carney, Griffin said he wasn't reading too much into the Roosters' sketchy early season form, last year's runners-up having lost three of their opening five games.

"(Braith) Anasta and (Mitchell) Pearce are State of Origin halves, (Anthony) Minichiello is a Test fullback, they've got a really big pack of forwards and someone like (Shaun) Kenny-Dowall out on the right-hand side," Griffin said.

"They made the grand final six months ago with some brilliant form near the end of the year, so we're expecting a tough clash and a lot of attack coming from them at us."

No-one's been better at repelling attacking raids in 2011 than the Broncos, who have yet to concede a second half try this season.

Asked how his side could be the first to break the run, Smith said: "The same way we'll score against them in the first half hopefully - it's a very impressive stat.

"Any team would like to have it whether it's at the front of the season or the middle or the back - going on a five-game run where you don't have a try scored against you in the second half is amazing and it takes a great effort by everyone."

While he wouldno doubt rather be a bit further up the ladder, Smith said he wasn't too concerned by the sluggish start.

"If you have a look at most teams I've ever coached we tend to be a bit like this in the early part of the year," Smith said.

"We were hoping to be a bit more consistent ... we've had some real good passages in games and we've not been far off winning even in the games we've lost."

Anasta has been switched to five-eighth to replace Carney, with Tom Symonds coming off the bench into the backrow.

The Broncos have lost centre Ben Te'o with a fractured arm, with Jack Reed moving from the wing to the centres with Dale Copley coming into the run-on side on the flank.

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