Hoffman leaves Storm a winner - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hoffman leaves Storm a winner

By Melissa Woods 05/09/2010 06:02:58 PM Comments (0)

While the season was one to forget, his last NRL match will be a memory Ryan Hoffman treasures.

The 34-4 win over Newcastle at AAMI Park was Hoffman's last in a Storm jersey after eight seasons with the club, and his last in the NRL.

The 26-year-old was a casualty of the club's salary cap debacle and along with Melbourne teammates Jeff Lima and Brett Finch, he will join Wigan in the Super League next year.

Though he would rather not be departing at all, Hoffman said it was a fairytale finish.

"I really wanted to leave the club with happy memories so that's what today's given me," Hoffman said.

He scored a try, as did three other players also leaving the club - Greg Inglis, Brett White and Aiden Tolman, while Lima was given the chance to kick a successful conversion.

It was White and Tolman's first tries of the season.

Finch missed playing in the emotional send-off because of a hand injury.

"It was quite ironic to see all the guys who are leaving managed to score and Jeff managed to kick a goal, you couldn't have scripted it better," Hoffman said.

"It was a really good finish to the year."

As the team and their families stayed behind in the dressing sheds, drinking to the season's end, Hoffman said it had been an emotional time for all.

He said coach Craig Bellamy, who choked back tears at the post-match press conference, had spoken from the heart to them after the match.

"He had a lot to say but in respect for Craig, who only wanted the players there, I can't say what he said.

"It was a very private sort of thing ... he wanted us to know just how special we are to him."

Hoffman said he had "100 per cent" faith the club would continue to succeed.

"We've got a very strong culture here and it's very hard to break.

"I see me going as an opportunity for a younger player, a player who may have not have had an opportunity.

"Me going has given another player a chance to have great memories at the Melbourne Storm."

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