Competition - NRL

Round - Round 01

Teams – Raiders v Panthers

Date – 5th of March 2016

Venue – GIO Stadium, Canberra ACT

Photographer – Mark Nolan

Description –

Kurt Baptiste: Hodgson is a big help to my game

Injuries to both starting halves, Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, to start the season placed a lot of pressure on Josh Hodgson, but teammate Kurt Baptiste has been impressed by the way he has played in their absence.

Baptiste was on the bench for the Raiders’ match against the Titans and was impressed with Hodgson’s output. The starting hooker had two try assists, one linebreak and one linebreak assist in a performance that secured him another two Dally M votes.

“Hodgo’s going pretty well there. I think he Ricky wanted to leave Hodgo out there on the field as long as could.”

Hodgson’s understudy, Baptiste said that the club’s starting hooker has also had a big influence on his own game.

“He [Hodgson] is a big help to my game and I watch some of the things he does out on the training paddock. I try to learn off him as much as I can because he’s been playing great and is a great footy player,” said Baptiste.

The utility had limited time on the field against the Titans but said he was happy doing his role for the team.

“Whether I’m getting more minutes or less minutes, it doesn’t worry me. It’s more about doing my job when I get on there.”

Baptiste will be on the bench for the Raiders Monday night match against the Bulldogs, and will again be useful late in the game with his speed and energy against a tiring Bulldogs forward pack. 

"Bulldogs are playing some good football at the moment. They have a good side right across the park. We will definitely need to be on our game and be better than we have been."

"There will be a good crowd at Belmore and I'm sure the fans will be fired up for the game. It's going to be a tough game."

CLICK HERE for the Raiders v Bulldogs match preview.