Broncos' Lodge promises NRL fireworks
Fired-up prop Matt Lodge has predicted early fireworks in Brisbane's NRL elimination final against Parramatta on Sunday as the underdogs aim to turn around their poor Sydney record.
Lodge said the Broncos pack would be out to prove the critics wrong, after claiming there had been talk that they could be bullied, with a fast start at Bankwest Stadium against the Eels - who finished the regular season fifth.
Lodge backed fellow prop Payne Haas and back-rower David Fifita to lead the way for Brisbane who have largely been written off after scraping into the finals in eighth spot.
"They (Eels) start fast but I am backing our guys to start fast as well, there should be some fireworks at the start of the game," he warned.
"A few people have said we can get bullied through the middle but I don't think people are going to have too much luck bullying guys like Payne or Dave; we can't wait for Sunday.
"Hopefully there is going to be some big contact and there are a few shots for people to watch when our packs go head to head."
Brisbane will need to overcome a woeful 1-4 record in Sydney this year in which they have conceded 164 points - including a 38-10 thrashing from Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium in round 14.
Not that Lodge had to be reminded.
"To be honest we have been pretty s**t in Sydney. Everyone knows that," he said.
"But it is a different ball game now. It is knockout footy.
"We will go down there with a different mindset.
"We are not going down there thinking we are underdogs. I am confident we can get the job done."
Lodge said he would not be losing sleep over the critics writing off their chances of ending their longest premiership drought and winning their first title since 2006.
"There are probably some people writing us off but there is belief in the group," he said.
"I think the more games we win the more people will shut up, that's the only way to do it."
Lodge said Brisbane would take confidence out of their 17-16 golden point win over the Eels at Suncorp Stadium two weeks ago.
"We played them a couple of weeks ago and we had a tight game which could have gone either way, so we will have to improve a few things from that game but all the boys here are confident," he said.
© AAP 2019