Third in the line of Griffin brothers to have worn the shirt of the Salford Red Devils, it is indeed the youngest of them, George, who has proved to be, by far, the longest serving of them, with both Darrell and Josh seeing out a couple of seasons each, compared with George’s five year stretch.
And what better ending to his time with us for such a loyal servant of the club, as for this season’s top three league placing and a Play-Off semi-final place, at least, to enjoy and savour.
“It has been a bit of a fairy tale ending, because for much of my time here we have, invariably, been close to the bottom, so to be where we are now could even lead to our playing in the Grand Final. In addition, I have also been fortunate that my recent injury has cleared up just in time for me to reclaim my place in the team ahead of the Play-Offs,” said Griffin.
“In fact, I was able to get a couple of games under my belt at the end of the regular season, which I hadn’t really expected. It was all thanks to the backroom staff, who had worked so hard to get me ready. My lungs, nevertheless, have throughout been reminding me of how long I’d been out of the game.
“The boys have been great in helping me along through the early stages of my return by taking some of the pressure away from me, and helping me to keep going.
“Back in 2017, when we last played Wigan in a semi-final, it proved to be rather frustrating because I felt we had got on top towards the end of the first half, but they then got an early try in the second-half, and, in the heavy rain which followed, our skill level dropped off a bit. To be fair we did well to hold them out and keep the score down, but we dropped far too many passes and in so doing did ourselves no favours at all.
“I’d like to think that Friday’s game would be an opportunity to put that right, but we know that it is going to be tough, just as it was a couple of weeks ago. I think that we were unlucky not to have come away with a win, on that. Since then they have had a bit of a peppering off Saints, so they will be coming out far more aggressive and all guns blazing. We’re just going to have to match that.
“Mentally, though, we will be going into the match with confidence, on the back of our win over Castleford, especially with having nilled them, because, at this time of the year in the wet conditions, defence, rather than attack, is the key to winning.
“This was the third time this season that we have nilled a team, on the back of London and Catalans, and it is all down to the work which we did in pre-season. We have always been quite silky in attack, but defence was something we really had to improve upon. We were still a bit ‘iffy’ at the start of the year, but by the backend of the season we seem to have fixed it and we are now confident that we can deliver on this front too.
“It’s a good feeling, winning, and we obviously want to do it as much as we can, so to have won nine games out of our last ten is really great. The dream for me now is to finish my time here at Salford, as Champions.
“We are not getting too much ahead of ourselves though. It’s been a case of buckling down on a day by day basis, and treating each remaining match as we have done every other game. We’ll just have to get on and work to the limit for every minute of the eighty.”
Salford Red Devils supporters can purchase tickets for Friday’s decisive match from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, or over the phone on 0161 786 1570.