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Broncos say discipline not a problem
By Wayne Heming
15:42 AEST Thu Aug 9 2012
Josh Hoffman
Broncos fullback Josh Hoffman has been dropped for their crunch NRL clash with the Bulldogs.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin admits there's been a "slackening in commitment" but rejected claims the Broncos' losing streak stems from disciplinary problems within the club, despite the shock axing of representative fullback Josh Hoffman.

New Zealand Test star Hoffman has been banished to the Queensland Cup for the weekend and will miss arguably the biggest game of the season against Canterbury on Sunday as punishment for arriving 30 minutes late for training on Wednesday morning.

Brisbane have lost three matches straight and have conceded 70 points in the past two weeks against lowly Parramatta and Canberra.

They're just two more losses away from dropping out of the top eight and face an arduous run home with three of their final four matches against heavyweights the Bulldogs, Melbourne and Manly.

The Broncos risk missing the playoffs for just the second time since 1991, but Griffin stressed it was commitment and not discipline which had lapsed.

"There's been a slackening in commitment absolutely, but not in discipline," fired Griffin when asked if discipline at the club had slipped.

"Externally it might seem like a big call but it's not a big call from our end. It's a disappointing one we have to make.

"It's a no-brainer to us."

Griffin said attempts to use the club's firm stance against Hoffman to promote talk of ill-discipline within the playing ranks was pure nonsense.

"You guys (media) can write what you like but discipline is not an issue at this club," he told AAP.

"I'm not laying down any law. We've all got expectations we have to live up to and Josh didn't live up to them," said Griffin, who had Corey Norman training in Hoffman's fullback position on Thursday.

"Josh is the only (disciplinary) issue we've had for a long, long, time."

In early May, Brisbane sacked Hoffman's cousin, Dane Gagai, a highly promising young outside back, for repeated disciplinary breaches.

"I'm disappointed for him (Hoffman). He's a good guy. I like him, he's a valuable member of the team," said Griffin.

"It's not something you come into work and want to do but this club is bigger than anyone and regardless if we've won three in a row or lost four in a row, the same call would have been made.

"We're not playing games or need anything to motivate us and if someone's late next week, they won't be in the team.

"We stand for some things here even though on the field at the moment everyone understands we're not going as good as we could.

"Long term we've got a standard and an expectation about people here and that's what everyone appreciates.

"If you start letting go of those things, all the other things won't matter."

Experienced centre Justin Hodges said the players know they aren't far away from a win.

"You turn up at training with the boys and you'd think we were undefeated," he said.

"That shows they're still confident and that there is a belief we can go down to Sydney and turn our season around.

"We just need to find the trust in each other on the field and we'll be fine."