Griffin shining in the middle

The nib Newcastle Knights may have been bested by the Sydney Roosters on Sunday, but Slade Griffin continued to be an impressive contributor.

The 27-year-old admits they were feeling the disappointment after a tough loss.

“It felt like we let a couple of the boys down who played their former club and it was just a tough week,” Griffin commented.

“I thought defensively we were better in some areas but that’s hard to contemplate when you let them score nearly forty points.

“It was probably the effort areas on the kicks, they scored a couple off the kicks and the ball bounced their way a bit.

“They had more Roosters jumpers in the picture and if you’ve got more people there, the more chances you’re going to get the footy.”

The Knights hooker maintains the 30-point defeat has dented the morale slightly amongst the playing group but it’s only early days.

“We had a good start to the year with two wins and it’s probably a learning lesson for us all which has brought us back to earth,” said Griffin.

“We’ll bounce back, we’ve got a lot of new players and it’s about getting our combinations right so if we rip in this week, with a lot of effort and a lot of intensity, I’m sure the coach will be happy.

Griffin knows they’ll have to work on a few things this week as they prepare to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons.

“They’re top of the ladder and a really good side with another strong pack so it’s going to be another challenge for us,” he said.

“They grind out their defence, they’re really aggressive down our end so our backs are going to have to roll their sleeves up and take a few knocks.

“Ben Hunt has come in and he’s working really well with Gareth Widdop, and their attack is a lot sharper than last year.”

Praised for his stellar work in dummy half so far this season, the new recruit has got the chance to play big minutes in the past two matches.

“I have felt really good with my fitness, it was a bit stop start yesterday but they’ve got a good pack and they really tested us through the middle,” Griffin said.

“I have always wanted to be a starting hooker and I had a couple of injuries that stalled my career down in Melbourne and finally I got through the last couple of years so starting to feel really good now.”

Meanwhile Griffin has expressed his faith in the depth of the squad following Connor Watson’s injury on the weekend.

He believes Brock Lamb can slide into the halves seamlessly. 

“I have been really impressed with how Brock has trained over the pre-season and I thought he was unlucky not to get the spot,” Griffin added.

“We’ve got great competition in a lot of spots which keeps everyone on their toes, and not only through games but at training, so you need that competitiveness and you’re always going to be tested.

“To bring a player of Brock’s calibre in, I’m sure he’ll do a good job while Connor is out.”