Griffin's gamble pays off for Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Griffin's gamble pays off for Broncos

18/06/2011 01:13:00 PM Comments (0)

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin was a relieved man when his gamble on playing his State of Origin stars in Friday night's 21-14 NRL win over the Dragons paid off.

But while Darren Lockyer's masterclass was as good as any he has pulled off in a glittering 17-year career, it was the young bloods that impressed the coach most.

Griffin, who rested his stars after Origin I, put the ball in their court this time around and gave them the option of playing.

Lockyer was quick to accept the challenge and his crucial 40-20, field goal and three try assists paved the way for the win.

Queensland prop Ben Hannant was a powerhouse, topping the tackle count with 54 and running 124 metres while Maroons' teammate Sam Thaiday appeared to have finally shaken off a groin injury that he has battled all season.

It was a calculated gamble that paid off.

"This was one game where we were going to play our Origin players if they were fit," Griffin said.

"We've got a seven day break and and they've got a 12 day break until their next game (of Origin).

"Thank God it's all over after tonight, we don't have to explain ourselves any more."

With Justin Hodges still a week away from his long-awaited return and Corey Parker (groin) unable to take his place, Griffin was again forced to turn to his young brigade to step up against what has been the benchmark team for the past two seasons.

Former bricklater Jack Reed feasted on his opportunity on the right edge with several incisive breaks and a crucial try in the 58th minute.

But he wasn't the only one.

"Jack was great but in particular guys like Dunamis Liu, Dave Hala, Scott Anderson and those guys, we needed to see a lift out of them as well," Griffin said.

"We always knew what Locky was capable of or Sam or Hannant. But the game was going to be about how big an effort we could (put) in with guys like Jack Reed and those forwards.

"They all stood up really good."

Hodges was put on ice for another week after failing to complete training on Thursday, but Griffin said he would be a certain starter for next week's clash against South Sydney in Perth.

"We didn't want to risk him and have him out for another six weeks," Griffin said.

"He'll go to Perth."

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