Griffin aims to make impact
23rd February 2013
Leeds Rhinos forward Darrell Griffin is hoping he can help deliver a short-term boost to ambitious Salford City Reds.
The former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Huddersfield Giants and England prop, who was a member of the Rhinos’ Grand Final-winning team in October, joined the City Reds on a month's loan after being unable to force his way into Brian McDermott's team so far this season.
Instead of lining up against Melbourne Storm in last night's World Club Challenge, Griffin was preparing to make his Reds debut in tomorrow's Super League televised match against Hull KR at the City of Salford Stadium.
"I've come to get some game time," he said. "If I can help the boys in any way, that's great."
The experienced Griffin will help bolster the Salford ranks while coach Phil Veivers waits for the arrival of reinforcements, initially in the form of Manly Sea Eagles duo Vic Mauro and Liam Foran, but he remains part of the Rhinos' future plans.
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "He's still under contract.
"He missed quite a bit of pre-season because of shoulder surgery and was behind everybody else when it came to the start of the year.
"There's a lot of competition for the front row and inevitably someone is not going to get a game. Brian thought this move was in everybody's interests."
The City Reds have conceded 124 points in their opening three matches, all tough fixtures against teams expected to finish in the top six, but Veivers is also expecting a difficult test from Hull KR, who got their first win last week.
"It was always going to be a tough start," he said. "Hopefully we can improve a bit more this week.
"It was well-documented that we were three months behind the eight-ball so that is now three weeks less.
"But Hull KR are always a dangerous side. They have quality players and recruited a fair bit in the off season.
"Corey Paterson is a handful and they have some big boys up front who give them go-forward while Michael Dobson controls everything for them. They are a major threat to any side."
Huddersfield look to maintain the only 100% record when they visit Wakefield, who bounced back from their heavy opening-day defeat by Bradford Bulls to post back-to-back wins.
That makes the Wildcats dangerous opponents, according to the Giants' former Wakefield full-back Scott Grix.
"We have looked at the tapes of their games and they are definitely looking pretty sharp," said Grix, whose side will be on a high following their impressive win over Wigan Warriors.
"With the way we played at the weekend we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. It will be tough going over there and I know they will be ready for it."
Wigan will be expected to return to winning ways when they host London Broncos, who have lost all three matches so far, but coach Shaun Wane is guarding against complacency.
"They have not had a good start but they are a quality team," he said. "If you look at their playing roster, they have some really good players.
"We have a great stadium with good facilities and teams seem to improve when they play us. I am expecting a bit of a kick back.
"This is a real mental approach for us, to make sure we have more enthusiasm than they do and that comes from the players."
Castleford Tigers will be hoping to end a traumatic week on a high note when they host Catalan Dragons.
Head of youth development Steve Gill has stepped in as interim chief executive following the shock resignation of Steve Ferres and coach Ian Millward has pledged his backing for chairman Jack Fulton.
"We're very strong as a group behind Jack," he said. "He's very hard working and this club does not exist without him.
"We're really full of ourselves as a group at the moment. We have a rugby league team playing and working hard for each other. We have a job to do on Sunday and we'll get on and do it."