Broncos back coach in as Bennett talk ramps up
BRISBANE co-captain Corey Parker has declared the players are 100% behind coach Anthony Griffin, as speculation of a Wayne Bennett "second coming" at the club gathers momentum.
Griffin is fighting for his survival with the Broncos facing a titanic task to stay in the top eight with a run of tough games coming up, starting at home on Saturday night against the powerful Warriors.
That match is followed by games against the Storm (home), Manly (away), Canterbury (home), South Sydney (away), Bennett's team Newcastle (home), St George-Illawarra (home) and finally away to the Storm.
With eight teams log-jammed between fourth and eighth place on the ladder, and with the general consensus being that 28 points will be needed to scrape in to the finals, Brisbane (20 pts) need to win at least four of its remaining eight games.
It is believed Griffin's future at the club is contingent on a top-four finish.
But now that Bennett is on the open market following his decision to leave Newcastle at the end of the season, making the top four may no longer be enough if it meant Brisbane would be in danger of missing out on an opportunity to get the seven-time premiership-winning coach back to Red Hill.
Parker, who played in premiership-winning sides under Bennett before he left the Broncos in 2008 to guide St George-Illawarra to its first premiership since the merger, said the club had moved on.
"It really bugs me and I understand you guys (media) have got jobs to do and that the industry we are in is results driven, but I can assure you on behalf of myself and Justin (co-captain Justin Hodges) the coach has an enormous amount of support from the playing group who back him 100 per cent," Parker, who is in career-best form, said.
"He (Griffin) never tries to sugar coat anything, it's black and white, there's no grey and that's one of his great traits."
Broncos director and former club champion Darren Lockyer started the Bennett ball rolling saying recently the Broncos had to move on from his era. But others at Red Hill believe Bennett could return Brisbane to the top with the club no longer having an aura about it since he left.
"What Wayne has done here (Broncos) and what he has done in his career has been amazing," Parker acknowledged.
"But Wayne left in 2008. We're in 2014 and we're still talking about Wayne.
"I've got the utmost respect for Wayne and I talk to him regularly. But the reality is, Wayne's not here and Hook (Griffin) is, and the respect he has got within the playing group and the organisation is of the highest quality."