Greta-Branxton half faces big weekend

JOEY Griffiths has two major aims this weekend.

Greta Branxton and Group 21 halfback Joey Griffiths, here passing the ball for Group 21 against Group 4 two saturdays ago,  hopes to trans late local seuccess into victory for Greater Northern Tigers at Singleton on Saturday.  Photo: Barry Smith 170514BSH06

Greta Branxton and Group 21 halfback Joey Griffiths, here passing the ball for Group 21 against Group 4 two saturdays ago, hopes to trans late local seuccess into victory for Greater Northern Tigers at Singleton on Saturday. Photo: Barry Smith 170514BSH06

The Greta Branxton Colt is one of the main playmakers for the Greater Northern Tigers in Saturday’s Tier 2 Country Championship clash with Western at Singleton’s ResCo Park and then backs up Sunday for the big A Plus Contracting Group 21 clash with Denman Devils at Greta Oval.

He’s determined to win both.

His form suggests he’s in the right frame of mind to do that too after helping Group 21 dominate the recent Greater Northern Regional Championships in Tamworth and then kick the Colts to a last-minute 28-26 win over Singleton Greyhounds at ResCo Park last Sunday.

At age 31 he’s got the experience as well as the ability.

He’s in his fifth season at the Colts too.

“I’ve been backwards and forwards between them and Kurri,” the impressive halfback said before Tuesday night’s  Greater Northern training session in Werris Creek.

“They’re a good club (Greta). 

“But we’ve been a bit scrappy this year, although we’ve only lost the one game.”

He and his Colts teammates played and lost last year’s G21 grand final to Denman at Denman Oval.

“It’s motivation for this year, to go one better,” he said.

Griffiths grew up around Maitland but has an affinity for the local area where his uncle Wayne Griffiths, a Gunnedah and Group 4 rugby league stalwart, still coaches Bulldogs and Group 4 junior teams.

He even played for West Lions in their 2007 season when beaten by North at Jack Woolaston Oval, Tamworth in that season’s G4 decider.

He does have a premiership though, helping Greta Branxton to the 2009 G21 premiership.

“We beat Singleton at Singleton,” he recalls.

So ResCo Park does have some good memories for him and he’d like to add another one on Saturday.

“This is a good side,” he said.

“We’ve got some quality players. 

“The pack isn’t big but it’s mobile.”

 Daniel Ritter, he said, is a class act and he enjoys pairing up with his Colts hooker Daniel Bates.

“He gets out of dummy half quick,” he said.

“We’ve played together so much we only need a little look here and there.”

He’s also hoping Bates’s combination at club level will be a determining factor when the G21 finals roll around too.

“Hopefully we can go one better this year.”

That goes for the Greater Northern  Tigers too who beat Northern Rivers in their first game last year only to lose to Newcastle in a tough semi-final in their second.

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