Thaiday wants critics off his coach’s back

KEEPING THE FAITH: Sam Thaiday, in action for the Broncos during the Auckland Nines, is not concerned by his team’s two heavy trial defeats.
KEEPING THE FAITH: Sam Thaiday, in action for the Broncos during the Auckland Nines, is not concerned by his team’s two heavy trial defeats. Teaukura Moetaua aap Images

HE stripped him of the captaincy last month but Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday showed he wasn't a man to hold a grudge after urging early critics to give his coach, Anthony Griffith, a break.

Brisbane has leaked 80 points in two big trial losses to the North Queensland Cowboys and a white-hot Warriors last weekend.

Griffith's five-eighth dilemma for round one against the Bulldogs has been compounded by injury concerns over star recruit and x-factor Ben Barba (foot) and Josh Hoffman, who had his ribs separated by a massive Warriors tackle in a loss that has suddenly sounded alarm bells.

However, Thaiday jumped to his coach's defence when asked whether Griffin was feeling the heat even before Brisbane had played an NRL game.

"We haven't even started yet," he said. "Give him a bit of break. Get off his back. We're behind him 100%.

"I'm sure it will be a very hostile crowd down there in Sydney (for the first game against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium) and I know personally I am pumped and ready to go."

Thaiday said the heavy losses to the Cowboys and Warriors were only trial games.

"They weren't worth any (NRL) points at all," he said.

"Against the Warriors we had Matt Gillett having an early shower, we had Alex Glenn having an early shower.

"I'm not worried at all.

"Round one is in a couple of weeks and then we play for two points every week."

"I'm sure for the next week and a half when we get prepared for that first match (Friday, March 7) everyone is going to be up for it."

Griffin, meanwhile, has a tough call to make on who will play five-eighth with Barba, Hoffman and 19 year-old Kodi Nikorima all options.

The nippy Nikorima impressed at the pre-season but he has no first-grade experience. Barba probably is the best choice, with Hoffman remaining at fullback.

Thaiday suggested they may interchange between five-eighth and fullback much as the same way Justin Hodges and Hoffman swapped from centre to fullback last season.

Topics:  brisbane broncos footy tipping nrl sam thaiday

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