Griffin's coaching star rises despite loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Griffin's coaching star rises despite loss

Wayne Heming 08/05/2011 11:31:09 AM Comments (0)

Anthony Griffin arrived as an NRL coach on Saturday night not on the back of his previous seven straight wins but with a tenacious loss.

Brisbane's gritty 29-22 defeat to Melbourne Storm with their four Australian Test stars was no consolation for rookie Griffin who was not looking for excuses.

The missing players were notable: Darren Lockyer, Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday and Ben Hannant all sat in the Suncorp Stadium stands along with injured trio Matt Gillett, Josh Hoffman and Ben Te'o.

Griffin acknowledged the effort of his inexperienced troops, some of whom have played less than a handful of NRL games, and of stand-in captain Corey Parker.

But after his impressive seven game streak ended he laid his coaching mantra on the line, declaring honourable losses were not acceptable under his watch.

It may not have been a defining game in Griffin's budding coaching career.

But it provided an insight into his mindset, much like losses often provoked the best quotes from former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett who for some reason was usually more "expansive" in defeat.

Griffin was not about to use the loss of so much strike power as an excuse because in his mind, he believed his players should have got the job done.

"There's no honourable losses. A loss is a loss," said Griffin, disappointed his players failed to win after twice getting themselves back into the game.

"We fought really hard but we had to do too much fighting.

"I was disappointed we beat ourselves with too many errors.

"With seven minutes to go it was 22-all and the team we put out had the game to close out. We weren't good enough."

While the man in the street doubted Brisbane could compete without Lockyer and their other Test stars, Griffin was always confident he'd picked a team that could win the game.

He never once wavered from his stand that he was doing what was best for the club, their fans and most of all the team and his players by ruling outhis stars.

Hannant wanted to back up from the Test, he even asked to play on Saturday morning.

Lockyer would have played, he always has.

But he is 34 now and in his last season.

Hodges who missed the 2010 season with an Achilles injury and has had hamstring issues, would have been foolish to play, but he would have as well.

"Had we forced them to back up and ignored them we'd be the dumbest club in the world," said Griffin after sticking to his plan despite knowing it would not be well received by some fans.

It's those tough calls that make great coaches.

With Gillett, Te'o and Hoffman all due back during the Origin series, Griffin has good reason to believe Brisbane will come of the other side of it's usual bogey period in good shape.

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