It was not the way he would have wanted to go out, but unfortunately, that is NRL sometimes, as the retiring Broncos stalwart Petero Civoniceva will now enjoy life after footy, after his Broncos side was knocked out of the NRL finals, following a 33-16 loss against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Whilst the Broncos were determined to battle until the end, towards the end of the game, they knew that the loss was coming, but both Civoniceva and his good friend Justin Hodges, knew that it was over.
“I just said ‘thanks for everything’, I have some great memories with this side,” Civoniceva said.
“When I get home and unpack the football bag for the last time no doubt it will be emotional.
“But all I can do is be grateful for my career. I did what I wanted to do when I was a kid – to be here 15 years later I feel very lucky.”
The news was just as bad for another retiring veteran, with Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne limping off with what is believed to be a serious knee injury, one that may end his career prematurely.
Broncos captain Sam Thaiday was disappointed that they could not send out their stalwart on a higher note, but he knows that now is the time to look to the future.
“It’s a disappointing way to send him out, it’s a bit heartbreaking, eh,” Broncos skipper Sam Thaiday said.
“He has done a lot for the game of rugby league – he will leave a gap in our team but I am impressed with the blokes coming through.”
It was again a stellar performance from live-wire Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen, with a lot of his family coming down to watch him play in his 250th NRL game.
“Every second weekend my mum and dad come down from Hope Vale but this time there was a truck load – I don’t know where everyone will be sleeping tonight,” Bowen laughed.