Griffin confident rookie can tame Berrigan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Griffin confident rookie can tame Berrigan

Wayne Heming 05/08/2011 03:57:42 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has backed boom rookie Jack Reed to handle his latest acid test against former Broncos favourite Shaun Berrigan on Saturday night.

A key member of Brisbane's most recent NRL premiership side in 2006, Berrigan returns to Suncorp Stadium with the Warriors intent on spoiling his former captain Darren Lockyer's 349th-game party.

While Berrigan hasn't been at the club for five seasons, Griffin said his achievements in Broncos colours meant he was still respected by the senior players, including Lockyer.

"We have a lot of respect for Berro for what he did here," said Griffin when asked about Berrigan's days at the club under former coach Wayne Bennett.

"The last time this club won a competition he was playing in the centres.

"The older guys like Lockyer have already had a little chat to Jack Reed and we've got a lot of respect for Berro.

"Jack's a player on the up and he's done a job on everyone he's had to handle this year so we're hoping he does that again on Saturday night."

Berrigan, who played several different positions under Bennett before heading overseas to play for Hull FC in 2007, was expecting Suncorp Stadium to be rocking for Lockyer's big night.

"The fans love Locky up there so I'm sure they'll come out for it," said the 32-year-old utility, who played 186 games and won two premierships with the Broncos.

"He's definitely up there with the best.

"I pretty much played all my first grade at Brisbane with him and so many times he got us out of tight situations.

"His longevity and durability are just outstanding."

History says Lockyer will celebrate game number 349 with an easy win and his 122nd NRL career try.

Steve Menzies and Terry Lamb - the only others to have played 349 games - both celebrated their key milestones with tries and runaway wins for their clubs.

Griffin isn't expecting Lockyer's big night out will guarantee either against an in-form Warriors.

He believes what will help Lockyer walk off a winner will be a defensive resolve for 80 minutes against a side which turned on some champagne attack to smash them 48-16 at Suncorp Stadium last year.

Griffin wasn't happy with his players giving up 18 points to Cronulla last week even though they had the game wrapped up, leading 36-6 at halftime.

He knows clocking off defensively against a side as dangerous as the Warriors could be a disaster at this time of the season with a top-four position within reach.

Griffin singled out young Warriors halves James Maloney and Shaun Johnson, ball-playing forward Feleti Mateo, Berrigan and giant winger Manu Vatuvei as danger men who had to be watched closely.

"Mateo gives them an unpredictability and their young halves are great runners who we have to shut down," he said.

He warned the Warriors would come at Brisbane from anywhere on the field.

"We've got to make sure we've got a high completion rate so we can attack them the way we like to attack," he said.

"If we do that we'll find our tries."

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