Anthony Griffin.
Anthony Griffin. Wayne Heming

Could Griffin be first sacked coach to win NRL Premiership?

A RESOLUTE Anthony Griffin could create rugby league history later this year by being the first coach to repay his club for sacking him by delivering a premiership.

Brisbane's board terminated Griffin's NRL contract a season early yesterday, clearing the decks for foundation coach Wayne Bennett to take over at the club he built from scratch in 1988 to win six premierships, before leaving in 2008.

Griffin almost certainly fell on his sword after Brisbane posted its worse result in 26 years when it came 12th last season.

He was philosophical about his fate after Broncos chief executive and close friend Paul White broke the news to him over a beer on Sunday.

"I wouldn't say I'm shattered. It's a big bad world out there, it's business," said Griffin, summing up his emotions.

"Life is full of challenges - this is one of them. I've done everything in my power to get the club to a position where it is going to succeed."

The players were given the news behind closed doors at Red Hill yesterday morning as social networks Twitter and Facebook ran hot with speculation Bennett was returning and that White would quit because of "issues" with the master coach.

"I told the players I got the a***," said Griffin with a wry smile.

Almost upbeat, Griffin said his players dealt with the bombshell in different ways.

"I had some guys I had to give a cuddle," he said.

"The two captains (Corey Parker and Justin Hodges) were very strong, there might have been a couple cheering …. I don't know."


One thing Griffin was positive about was his coaching future, and a desire to walk out of Red Hill with a premiership.

"I'm going to coach again," he told a packed media conference.

"I'm not at the point now of thinking where an opportunity night lie, but I can tell you all I will coach again.

"For now, this team has an opportunity to get to the playoffs and if we improve the way I think we can we're going to be hard to beat.

Griffin said he didn't hold a grudge against Bennett.

"He didn't hire himself," he said.

"The board has to make decisions. I'm not going to be a victim of 'I've been harshly done by'. This is a high risk-high reward business."

White, who declared he was totally committed to the club and had no issues working alongside Bennett, said it would be a hell of a send off if Griffin won the title in October.

"We've spoken about that, we'd have some fun" he grinned.

Griffin chipped in with: "that would be unreal".