Broncos ran out of puff, says Hodges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos ran out of puff, says Hodges

By Melissa Woods 27/09/2009 12:26:43 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane centre Justin Hodges says his side's thrilling run into the NRL finals took its toll and left the Broncos unable to match the might of Melbourne.

Brisbane's season ended in the preliminary final with a 40-10 thrashing by the Storm at Etihad Stadium, with Melbourne advancing to their fourth successive grand final where they will meet Parramatta.

Two months ago Brisbane suffered a record 56-0 defeat at the hands of Canberra and their season looked on the skids, but they showed their courage to fight back.

Their physical semi-final win over minor premiers St George Illawarra was rated by many as one of the best performances of the season, but Hodges said they ran out of puff.

"We had a couple of tough games leading up to the preliminary final and Melbourne had the weekend off and they were a lot fresher," Hodges said.

"It showed in that first 20 minutes... they dominated from the start."

Hodges felt their own grand final was played against the Dragons.

"We put all of our energy into last week's game, it was a big game and an emotional game for us."

The Queensland Origin centre said the loss of injured halfback Peter Wallace for the big match was telling for his team.

"They've got some great players in their side, (Cameron) Smith and (Cooper) Cronk who can lead them around the field and we missed that direction without having Pete out there," Hodges said.

"But full credit to Melbourne, they played well and we just weren't good enough.

"It was disappointing, but that's footy. There's always one winner and one loser."

Despite the comprehensive performance by Melbourne, Hodges wasn't convinced they'll beat the resurgent Eels.

"For me, I sort of reckon Parramatta because they're on that run at the moment where they can't be stopped," he said.

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