Leeds Rhinos: Defeat is not an option for ex-Rhino Griffin

Darrell Griffin.
Darrell Griffin.
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FORMER LEEDS Rhinos prop Darrell Griffin accepts tonight’s visit of his old club is a must-win game for Salford Red Devils.

Coach Iestyn Harris’ team are aiming for a fourth straight win, which would leave them just two points outside First Utility Super League’s play-off zone.

But with a trip to Wigan Warriors to come next week, Salford know a defeat tonight would virtually end their hopes of a last-gasp push into the top-eight.

“It is a massive game for us in the context of our season,” conceded Griffin, who was a member of Rhinos’ Grand Final-winning side in 2012.

“There’s still plenty of points to play for, but if we have aspirations of getting into the play-offs we need to be winning all our games.

“We have not really spoken about it as such, but with Widnes beating Warrington last week we are four points adrift with six games to go, so we can’t afford to lose too many now.

“We have got two big games coming up, Leeds and Wigan, but they are all important for us at this stage of the season.”

Big-spending Salford dropped as low as 12th in the table before their recent run, but having recruited virtually a new team in the off-season, Griffin said: “It was always going to take time.

“Iestyn said when he first came in it wasn’t a miracle cure. He said it wouldn’t happen in one, two or three weeks.

“He has added things in here and there, but we didn’t have the luxury of having Iestyn is for pre-season, so it has taken time getting used to his ideas.

“A lot of his ideas are different to Nobby’s (previous boss Brian Noble). I am not trying to make excuses, but the last few weeks things have started to click and we’ve got some pretty decent results and we are definitely making some good strides, compared to where we were a few weeks ago.”

Salford’s improvement has coincided with the signing of Griffin’s brother Josh an ex-Wakefield, Castleford and Leeds Carnegie rugby union centre, from Batley Bulldogs.

“I am loving it,” Darrell said of playing alongside his brother. “I played with him before at Huddersfield, but then we went our separate ways.

“His stint away from the game seems to have done him a world of good and he’s playing with a lot of confidence.

“He’s 24, he’s a big unit, with great pace and he has been scoring some good tries.”

Salford will go into tonight’s game as the form team, but Darrell Griffin is taking nothing for granted against his previous team.

“They are a high-quality outfit, full of dangerous players,” he said. “Look where they are in the table.

“I wouldn’t say they’ve been up and down, it’s more that the competition has got closer.

“It’s great for the league and I think it (tonight) should be another decent game, it should be close and with a bit of luck we will come away with the points.”

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