Fine Lebanese cuisine firing Broncos enforcers Lodge and Pangai
They are the weekly dinner meetings at a Lebanese restaurant where Matt Lodge and Tevita Pangai jnr talk footy, plan for games and strengthen a bond that has turned them into two of the most damaging players in the game.
The two powerhouse Brisbane Broncos forwards are fresh from dominant displays in the 38-18 win over a South Sydney side which featured the in-form Burgess brothers.
Now they are ready to take on firebrand Dylan Napa and the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night but not before dining out at a restaurant called Little Beirut, a place where they cook up plans for their opponents each week while feasting on delicacies of the Middle East.
"Me and Tevita are really close and we have been for a few years," Lodge told NRL.com.
"We hang out outside of footy and go to dinner every week. One of our mates runs it and they serve really good Lebanese food.
"It is a bit of a ritual and because me and T are both footy heads we do a fair bit of planning [for games] there."
The plan is simple. They like to share a feed off the field and ensure they feed off each other’s powerhouse runs on it.
"We are a good combo and we haven't even seen the best of us yet," Lodge said.
"I know what T is going to do on the footy field and he knows what I am going to do. He'll run off the back of one of my runs or I'll run off the back of one of his.
"I definitely feed off it. We'll just look at each other when the team needs something or we need to dig deep ... and when Tevita is on he is one of the most damaging players in the game."
Lodge is ready to fire up against Napa at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night in what promises to be a classic confrontation.
"Dylan puts his body on the line and is always going out with intent to hurt other people," he said.
"I'm willing to cop it and give some back, but he is a pretty heavy shoulder to run into so you might be feeling it the next day if you take him on."
Lodge, who had two seasons out of the NRL before his much-publicised return with Brisbane, said he was physically more ready for the looming confrontation with Napa than he was at the start of the year
"I started off a bit behind the eight-ball but now I am getting into the groove," he said.
"This is my first year back but so long as I am working hard I think those battles will go well for me.
"I've been doing a lot of work with Wayne [Bennett] and some of the coaches on defensive stuff. When you slip off doing that full-time and in a good system it is easy for some of those good habits to go away, so I'm trying to get them back after a few years out.
"There is room to still improve on that."
The Broncos, on 28 points, are in position to possibly host a semi-final with wins over the Roosters and the Sea Eagles in their final two games.
The Roosters are on 32 points and will be disappointed with anything less than a top two finish.
"There is a lot riding on it," Lodge said of the clash with the Trent Robinson-coached side.
"They want the minor premiership. On the other page we are pretty motivated as well.
"I've sat back the last few years and watched a fair few finals eries and pretty much dreamed of being out there so, touch word if we get there, it is going to be the time to have a dig."
If the Broncos make a dint in the finals series you can be sure Lodge and Pangai will be ordering more of their favourite Little Beirut dessert, a Middle Eastern cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar syrup, called Kanafeh
"Yeah, depending on how things have gone during the week we do like to go for the Kanafeh," Lodge grinned.