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Griffin prepares for second coming with Panthers

Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin directs players during training in Brisbane, Thursday, May 8, 2014. The Broncos will meet the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Friday for their round 9 clash. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin directs players during training in Brisbane, Thursday, May 8, 2014. The Broncos will meet the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Friday for their round 9 clash. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING DAN PELED

Wayne Bennett cut short his first foray into the NRL coaching ranks but Anthony Griffin will rise again next season when he is officially confirmed today as Ivan Cleary's replacement at Penrith.  

Griffin sat out this season as seven-time premiership winning coach Bennett returned to Red Hill, immediately taking Brisbane to the grand final.  

Bennett's young Broncos squad, though, boasted a number of young players his predecessor had groomed from his days as the club's under-20s coach.  

After applying for Rick Stone's job at Newcastle and missing out to Nathan Brown, Griffin has hit pay dirt with the Panthers.  

Griffin's development of a number of good young Broncos players helped clinch the deal with Penrith and the club's general manager Phil Gould.  

Players such as Ben Hunt, Andrew McCullough and more recently hulking youngster Corey Oates, got their starts through Griffin, who will look to his former halfback at Brisbane, Peter Wallace, to help him negotiate the early months when he takes over at the foot of the mountains.  

CONFIDENT: Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett looks on during training at Suncorp Stadium yesterday.
CONFIDENT: Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett looks on during training at Suncorp Stadium yesterday.

 Griffin won't be able to ease into his new coaching job as Penrith are under pressure to reach the finals in 2016 with a roster that has a number of exciting players headed by fullback Matt Moylan.  

With 101 NRL games under his belt Griffin won't have any honeymoon with the media as he did when he replaced Ivan Henjak in 2011 and enjoyed at 20-7 season and a 74% strike rate.  

That fell to just over 50% when he was shown the door with 54 wins from 101 games to make way for Bennett's homecoming last season.  

Meanwhile, former Bulldogs goal kicking winger Hazem El Masri has been charged with domestic violence allegedly involving his 25-year-old wife.  

Topics:  anthony griffin kangaroos rugby league wayne bennett


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