Matt Lodge has revealed that he rejected a higher value offer from Parramatta to stay with the Broncos and warns there will be fireworks in their upcoming finals clash with the Eels.
This Sunday at Bankwest Stadium Lodge will go head-to-head with Parramatta’s Junior Paulo in the elimination finals.
The duo could have been teammates for 2020 after the Eels tried to entice the Blacktown junior to return to Sydney with a contract in excess of $700,000 per season.
Instead Lodge signed a three-year deal with Brisbane eight weeks ago in order to stay on and push for a premiership. Now he is looking at this weekend’s game against Parramatta with a fire.
“To be honest, we’ve been pretty s*** in Sydney – everyone knows that,” Lodge told The Daily Telegraph.
“They will start fast, but I am backing our guys to start fast as well and there are going to be some fireworks at the start of the game.”
“I know we’re seen as underdogs but that’s not our mindset.”
“People say we can get bullied through the middle but good luck trying bully guys like Dave (Fifita) and Payne (Haas).”
“I can’t wait for Sunday, hopefully there’s some big contact and our forward pack go head-to-head with theirs and there’s some shots people come out to watch.”
“The more games we win, the more people shut up so that’s the only way to do it.”
For the second season in a row the former bad boy has turned down big-money offers to stay in Brisbane where he was supported following his off-field drama in 2015.
Last year it was Newcastle who put in a bid of almost $1 million a season and despite family ties near Parramatta the 24-year old has once again decided to stay.
“I did think about going back,” Lodge said.
“Parramatta put a good deal forward and it was 10 minutes from my house and the local area.”
“But I was happy to make the sacrifice and live up here in Brisbane to be around guys like Payne Haas and David Fifita and around the coach (Anthony Seibold) as well.”
“I am happy with the choice I made and hopefully I can turn some western Sydney kids into Broncos supporters.”
The last meeting between the clubs a fortnight ago ended 17-16 in Brisbane’s favour and it was Lodge who came out on top of Paulo, amassing 136 metres compared to Paulo’s 120m, and he is looking forward to another tight clash.
“This is a good test for myself and our pack, we have to come out and be aggressive and put the foot down,” he said.
“We play better at home so you have to take confidence out of beating them two weeks ago.”
“We’re not going down to Parra thinking we are underdogs, we just have to do our best and I’m confident we can get the job done.”