THE Panthers are rolling along well in the top four, but speculation persists Anthony Griffin is no longer in the club’s plans. The coach has now revealed why he thinks his job is safe.
PENRITH coach Anthony Griffin insists there was nothing extraordinary about the NRL club’s mid-season review and is mystified why speculation continues to surround his future.
Griffin’s position at the Panthers was again questioned ahead of Friday’s clash with the Warriors, after reports this week suggested his role was the subject of a mid-season review.
Penrith are adamant that review was pre-scheduled and took place while players were away for the representative around — a stance Griffin maintained on Thursday.
“It’s something we do every year on the bye and get all the staff together like any club would,” he said.
“I haven’t been following the commentary about it that it’s been made a big deal of, but it’s nothing we haven’t done before or wouldn’t do in the future.”
While Griffin helped complete the review, it’s understood it ranged from medical staff to lower-grade performances.
Regardless it’s the second time this year Griffin has faced speculation about his position, despite having re-signed with the Panthers until 2020 last October.
Griffin is well experienced in dealing with the day-to-day dramas of rugby league.
He has been in and out of NRL clubs since 2001 and is as matter-of-fact as any coach in the competition.
And while he’s not fazed by the suggestions, he’s just as confused as to why questions persist with his Panthers fourth on the ladder.
“No I don’t (know why the reports keep popping up),” he said.
“It’s probably a question for other people. But our club is having a great year.
“We went into the Origin period sitting on top of the ladder with a lot of injuries and five debutants in the first 10 or 12 weeks.”
Crucially though, he hasn’t seen any signs of the issue distracting his players.
Friday’s clash shapes as a crucial one for Penrith’s season.
They are without State of Origin stars James Maloney, Nathan Cleary and Tyrone Peachey, but face an unaffected Warriors side that is equal with them on points and vying for a top-four position.
Youngsters Tyrone May and Jarome Luai will occupy the halves, while Luai or Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will kick goals after maestro Darryl Halligan visited the club this week to assist with training.
“The way we trained on Tuesday night I know there is no issue with the way our team is focused,” Griffin said.
“It’s this time of year and the obvious thing is we’ve just hit a bit of a spot as all teams do … you’ll go through patches where you just need to regain some momentum as well.”