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Griffin out for NRL redemption: Thaiday

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/04/2017 Laine Clark

Sam Thaiday says former Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin will be out for redemption in Penrith's Thursday night NRL clash with the Broncos.

The third-last Panthers have lost four straight but Thaiday says the Broncos were expecting a very different Penrith outfit at Suncorp Stadium.

Thaiday believes Griffin would love to snap Penrith's losing streak against the man who replaced him at the Broncos helm at the end of 2014 - Wayne Bennett.

"This is almost a redemption round for him," Thaiday said.

"He likes coming up against Wayne (Bennett) now.

"He will have the Panthers pumped up for us."

Thaiday admits Brisbane were wary of Griffin, who groomed a number of current Broncos during his time as the club's under 20s coach.

"He has coached a lot of the boys in the team since they were 18 years old," he said.

"He knows a fair bit about us and I am sure he will use that knowledge to try and beat us at home."

Brisbane beat South Sydney last Friday by a field goal in golden-point extra time and six of their eight games this season have been decided by three points or less.

Asked what it would be like to get one over Griffin, Thaiday said: "It would be good just to get a win and in an easier fashion than the last couple of rounds.

"We have cut it close. It's almost as if we are trying to kill off Wayne with a heart attack nearly every week."

Thaiday says Penrith's record may not be the best in 2017 but believes it was a matter of time before they turn their form around and live up to the pre-season tag as competition favourites.

"They have a fairly strong squad. They were talked up as a real contender," he said.

"I think they have been a little unlucky of late.

"They have been there or thereabouts but haven't closed out a lot of games.

"I am sure at some point they will flick the switch and play some good footy - hopefully it is not against us."

Meanwhile, winger Jordan Kahu ran freely at Monday training after missing the win over South Sydney with a groin strain.

Halfback Ben Hunt trained separately but is not expected back from a hamstring injury for another three weeks.

"We are not going to rush him. He is going to be a huge player for us, especially during the Origin period," Thaiday said of Hunt.

"It's about being smart about bringing him back."

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