Broncos exposed: players ‘not as good as they think’
A candid and frustrated Matt Lodge has broken Brisbane's silence over their embarrassing 59-0 loss to the Roosters, admitting the players do give up too easily and that some "aren't as good as what they think".
In an open press conference on Sunday afternoon, the Broncos enforcer revealed the club had been hurting since falling to their worst ever loss on Thursday night.
But he also said no player was going to hide away from the heavy scrutiny they have copped since, including criticism that they give up easily, have no leadership and are too young.
Lodge took plenty of ownership for Thursday's loss and said he was not alone in acknowledging that the playing group need to be better and should not buy into the hype around their roster.
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"We're pretty heartbroken and we let a lot of people down," Lodge said.
"My football hasn't been good enough the last couple of weeks. I definitely have some work to do. The team hasn't been good enough either.
"The performance we put out was shit. There's no two ways about it. The city, the club and everyone that's gone before us deserves better.
"Some people have been throwing criticism but the age thing (being too young) doesn't matter. If you're here, you're an adult and you're fulltime.
"You're required to do the job ... Individuals need to be better.
"Across the board some people aren't as good as what they think and we have plenty of work to do to be a better team.
"That's also me that's in that category. Whether it's the media or whoever that pumps up - for example - our forward pack and says they're the best pack in the comp, they're this, they're that, I just feel sometimes we can buy into that.
"We haven't ticked any boxes, we haven't achieved anything, we haven't won the comps they did in the '90s.
"We've got a lot of work to do and we've got to put our head down and get better at a lot of things before we start looking at that best pack in the comp."
When asked whether he felt criticism from fans, commentators and ex-players around Brisbane's tenacity was fair, he agreed it was.
"That's more than fair. They're definitely right," he said of comments the Broncos give up too easily.
"We haven't built that hard resilience yet for when things don't go our way.
"That's not through fault of being young. That's a personal thing we all need to be better at and learn how to deal with those hard situations.
"A Darren Lockyer or someone like that would help us swing games like that but he's not here so we need to adapt and learn how to do it.
"I think they'll respect us if we try a bit harder. I'm including myself when I say this stuff."
Another criticism Brisbane copped after their loss was their inability to front up to the media.
The club are facing a potential fine for failing to meet their post-game commitments, with no players presented for interviews.
However, Lodge said the players had no idea that requests had even been made of the playing group.
"Everyone here's down about what happened and they're copping it on the chin and you know, hiding from the media… that was honestly a mistake," he said.
"We didn't know they wanted to talk to us. If anyone asks a question about our performance, everyone here is happy to own up to it.
"We walked off filthy and just showered but no request ever came through to the players to come and do media. No one here has ever said, 'no, we're not talking to them'. We're not hiding behind anything.
"I don't think we were shielded away. I've spoken to (Anthony Seibold) and (football operations manager) Pete Nolan this morning and they didn't know anyone wanted to pull us out either.
"I don't know what the miscommunication was. I can assure you anytime in the future - hopefully there's not another flogging like that - but if anyone wants to speak to any players after a poor performance, they're all willing to own up to it and face the music, I guess."
Lodge also said they were open to the criticism that was coming through from former players.
Steve Renouf, Gorden Tallis, Shane Webcke and Broncos founder Barry Maranta are among those that have weighed in over the past few days, with Tallis again stating that coach Anthony Seibold is the wrong man to lead the club.
Lodge, who has spoken out about Tallis' criticism of the Broncos and himself before, said everyone had a right to scrutinise but ex-players should also help out the club if they want to comment.
"Gordie's one of the best forwards that's ever played the game so I guess anything he says you've got to take with a bit of respect," Lodge said.
"But he's never stepped a foot in the building, helped any one of our young players, helped the club get better or reached out and (asked) if there's anything he could do to help us become better players.
"We have plenty of old people that come back and help us get better. Sometimes you have to just sit through his criticism. He's entitled to that opinion.
"If he wants to come in and give us a hand and show us some leadership and help us be better players, we're more than welcoming of that."
Originally published as Broncos exposed: players 'not as good as they think'