No danger in resting stars: Griffin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No danger in resting stars: Griffin

Jim Morton 06/05/2011 04:33:07 PM Comments (0)

Not even a post-Test plea from Darren Lockyer will see the Kangaroos skipper or four other Broncos stars take on the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night.

While the Storm aim to field all five of their Anzac Test starters, including key trio Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, Brisbane are adamant they will take the opposite approach at Suncorp Stadium.

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin on Friday stressed there was no way Lockyer will even offer to play if he gets through Friday night's Test on the Gold Coast unscathed.

"I know everyone is hoping that that call happens for obvious reasons, but it's all been done before now," Griffin said.

"That's just not going to happen.

"It's been a measured and calculated thing that we've done and it's not a matter of us sitting by the phone tonight and hoping that someone rings and wants to play.

"I know people might be confused by it but I'm totally comfortable with what we're doing."

With the State of Origin series on the horizon, Griffin feels round nine is an ideal time to wrap Lockyer, Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday, Ben Hannant and Jharal Yow Yeh in cotton wool.

The first-year coach holds no fears of losing momentum after seven straight wins and backed his rising tyros to handle the "ruthlessness" of the Storm.

"The danger would be if we tried to hang on to what we've got through this period and tried to play those (Test players) and they run out of legs or get injured, you're showing no faith in your people underneath," Griffin said.

"Then later in the year you're trying to tell the people underneath that 'now you've got to do it, are you ready?'.

"The important thing is in eight weeks' time when all this is over we're stronger as a club and we've got our team back on the field."

The only door Griffin left open was the outside possibility of prop Hannant backing up if he played just 10-15 minutes off the bench for the Kangaroos.

Kiwis squad bolter Gerard Beale will return to the Broncos squad and play in the centres after being left out of New Zealand's 17-man team.

Kurt Baptiste will be the only debutant among six rookies with Beale's return forcing Dale Copley onto the wing and denying Shea Moylan his first NRL appearance.

Brisbane's surge has them joint competition leaders with St George Illawarra but Griffin admits they still have plenty of ground to make up on the reigning premiers and Melbourne.

"The thing that Storm and St George lead the comp in is just their consistency and the intensity they play their game at," he said.

"They're very ruthless in everything they do and for us to get out there and compete with them tomorrow night we have to have 80 minutes of real intense pressure ourselves and being able to sustain some pressure.

"At times the Storm they'll get you by the throat and they will shake you and try and break you and we've got to be ready for that."

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