Griffin’s restrained half-time talk helped Panthers secure remarkable win

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Tim Browne. Photo: Melinda Jane

Panthers interchange forward Tim Browne believes coach Anthony Griffin’s calm demeanor at half-time was the catalyst for Penrith’s remarkable turnaround against the New Zealand Warriors last weekend.

Down an appalling 28-6 at the break, Penrith returned from the sheds energised and enthused – scoring five unanswered tries to run out surprise 36-28 winners.

The 22-point comeback was Penrith’s second biggest of all time and is only one-point shy of their largest ever comeback (23 points) against the Wests Tigers back in 2000.

Expecting an almighty blow-up at half-time, Browne said coach Griffin was a lot calmer than he expected him to be.

“I couldn’t believe how calm he was, I was expecting something very different but I think a lot of the boys took plenty of confidence from that,” Browne told the Weekender.

“Hook is just very calm and professional, and he doesn’t let it get to the players… it stops with him.

“None of us felt panicked because of that. We felt we were in control. I was so excited for that second half and it played out the way we wanted it to.”

Panthers coach Anthony Griffin. Photo: Megan Dunn

While Penrith’s second half fightback will be remembered by fans for a very long time, questions were once again raised as to how the side ended up 22 points down in the first place.

Browne said he can’t quite put his finger on why his side are enduring such slow starts.

“If I was a magician, I’d fix that,” he quipped.

“We’ll get in there again this week and keep working hard at what we are doing wrong. I said to some of the boys at half-time that we were playing some of the best footy we had all year in that first half. I didn’t lose faith and I felt if we stuck to what we trained for, plus the individual talent we have in this team, we could turn this around.”

Securing his first win in Panthers colours, the 29-year-old has been in and out of first grade since switching from the Bulldogs this season.

While injury and suspension has kept him out of all but five first grade games, Browne believes he’s finally starting to find his place at his new club.

The Raymond Terrace junior said he sympathises with fellow new recruit James Tamou, who has also struggled since his move from North Queensland.

“It’s hard… I came here and didn’t know anyone to begin with and that’s a big challenge in itself,” Browne said.

“Just picking up the style of football the club likes to play, is a bit different to what I’m used to.

“I’ve had some injuries and suspensions to start the year but I’m looking forward to putting some footy together because I feel I owe it to the boys and the fans.”

The Panthers celebrate their win over the Warriors. Photo: Melinda Jane
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