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Brisbane chief executive Bruno Cullen was left wondering when the Broncos would win a case at the NRL judiciary after the club failed on Wednesday night to have Andrew Gee's high tackle charge downgraded.
Cullen also warned his players against getting caught up in the emotion, with 33-year-old Gee unlikely to play first grade again after copping a three-match suspension.
Gee will be praying for the out-of-form Broncos to win their next three matches to advance to their first grand final since 2000.
"Someone mentioned a good stat the other day - in 16 years the Broncos have never won a case or had a charge downgraded," a disappointed Cullen told AAP.
"That young kid from Cronulla, Dale Newton, had only been playing first grade for four weeks when he got off one charge and had another downgraded.
"He chopped down Brad Meyers and had the charge downgraded while Brad missed two weeks of football. There's no consistency."
A shattered Gee and his representative, former teammate Chris Johns, refused to comment after the 20-minute hearing in which the Broncos failed to have a grade two careless high tackle offence reduced to grade one.
Gee pleaded guilty to the charge for his hit on St George Illawarra forward Brent Kite last Friday night in the veteran's last home match.
Brisbane will also be without Test prop Petero Civoniceva for the start of the sudden-death finals campaign, which kicks off against minor premier Penrith on Sunday at Penrith Stadium.
Civoniceva was suspended for two matches yesterday after pleading guilty to grade two careless high tackle charge.
Cullen said the Broncos would be motivated to make the grand final for Gee but he implored the players to do it for themselves.
"He's well respected in the club and this will certainly spur the players on," said Cullen.
"As long as they don't get too mixed up in it. They have to win for themselves and the team first and not get too carried away with doing it for Gee."
Gee made his first grade debut for Brisbane in 1989 and made 255 appearances for the five-time premiership-winning club.
He was rewarded for his strong display for Queensland in the 1991 Origin series with selection on the Australian tour of Papua New Guinea, but injury restricted him to just one game.
Gee was a reserve when the Broncos won back-to-back premierships in 1992/93 but was part of the 1998 grand final side.
The no-nonsense forward left the club at the end of 1999 to join Warrington in England but returned to the Broncos, along with former skipper Allan Langer, for the 2002 season.