This time, it’s personal.
Sam Thaiday believes Penrith coach Anthony Griffin will be out for redemption when he faces off this week with the man who replaced him at Brisbane – Wayne Bennett.
The third-last Panthers are in need of inspiration ahead of Thursday night’s NRL clash with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium after losing four straight.
And Thaiday believed Griffin would provide it in a bid to “get one over” the man who replaced him at the Broncos helm after the 2014 season.
“I am sure Hook (Griffin) will have them fired up this week to play us,” Thaiday said.
“It’s almost a redemption round for him.
“He likes coming up against Wayne now.
“I am sure throughout this week he will be getting the boys pumped to play on Thursday night.”
Thaiday admitted Brisbane were wary of Griffin, who groomed a number of current Broncos as the club’s Under-20s coach.
“He has coached a lot of the boys in the team, some since 18, 19 years of age,” he said.
“He knows a fair bit about us and I am sure he will be using that knowledge to come up with a gameplan to try and beat us at home.”
Asked if it would be good to get one over his former coach, Thaiday said: “It would be good just to get a win 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.”
Brisbane needed a late field goal to down South Sydney 25-24 last round.
Six of their eight games have now been decided by three points or less.
Thaiday said pre-season favourite Penrith’s record may not be the best but believed it was a matter of time before they clicked into gear.
“I think they have been a little unlucky of late,” he said.
“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.