WINNING coach Anthony Griffin stopped well short of denying reports that Peter Wallace and Scott Prince were on the way out of Brisbane while rival Neil Henry continues to wait for the Noerth Queensland executioner’s axe to fall.
Brisbane’s 18-16 derby win over North Queensland at 1300smiles Stadium was played amid anticipation of seismic changes at both clubs, who face near-Herculean tasks to qualify for the finals.
Broncos five-eighth Scott Prince – who kicked the winning goal – has reportedly been told he will play reserve grade if he stays at the club next season, while sometimes-half Peter Wallace is not wanted.
And Henry – whose side must now win all their remaining matches to make the play-offs – is tipped to be told as soon as this week his services will not be required in 2014.
Prince said when asked about his future: “I’m not sure.
“At the end of the day, I’m signed for next year and we’ll just see how this year unfolds and, yeah, we’ll see what happens.”
Given the opportunity to deny the speculation, Griffin said only: “They’re things that are in the paper and I’ve got no control over what they write in the paper.”
Henry, meanwhile, again indicated he would not jump and would have to be pushed by directors. “I don’t know, it’s up to the board to discuss that,” he said when asked about a decision on his future.
“As I said, at the moment I’ve got a contract for next year and I want to stay up here and fulfil that obligation. We’ll see.”
The match was one in which changes made by Griffin, with Ben Hunt moved to halfback and Josh Hoffman back to fullback, worked – although the Cowboys roared back from 12-0 down.
Henry was upset no action was taken when outstanding Brisbane rookie Corey Oates made contact with NQ winger Kalifa FaiFaiLoa as he chased a 66th-minute kick into the in-goal.
“Kalifa was that close to it, he would have scored,” Henry said. “I can’t see how it wouldn’t have been a penalty.”
But the Cowboys coach said the main reason his men did not hold on after Matt Bowen’s 58th minute try gave them the lead was that they let each other down.
“Obviously our right edge strugged a little with their left-edge attack,” said Henry.
“We’re bitterly disappointed … people are doing their job and other people come up with poor decisions. We’ve got half a dozen of those in the game.
“It wasn’t outstanding attack. It was a poor defensive read or a lack of urgency or maybe communication.”
Retiring Dallas Johnson suffered a hip injury.
Griffin reckoned: “They had us by the throat there for, probably, 30 minutes of that second half. To their credit, (Johnathan) Thurston and (Matt) Bowen wouldn’t let us out.
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD