Following last season’s 16-14 qualifying-final loss to Cronulla, Canberra Raiders Hooker Josh Hodgson believes it is not about revenge coming into this weekend’s clash with the defending premiers.
With Hodgson being completely focused on the new season and his new leadership role, he does however admit those games do stick in your mind for quite a long time.
“You know I don’t look at it as if I want to get revenge for last year, that has been and gone, but you know those games always stick with you throughout your career”, Hodgson said.
The Sharks have won their past three meetings at Canberra Stadium and whilst revenge isn’t a factor going into the match, Hodgson’s view from a fans perspective might tell a different story.
“I suppose it would be nice for the fans to get a bit of revenge,” he said with a grin.
The Raiders have had a tough start to the year with injuries and suspensions, however Hodgson is excited for the return of Fullback Jack Wighton and frightening prop Junior Paulo.
“Junior’s obviously great going forward and getting us on the front foot, he is a big boy to stop and Jack is a great addition to have back in the team, he has a great influence on all the boys and we are really excited for him to be back.”
With the Raiders having included two big names into their squad for this weekend’s clash, Cronulla are still coming to terms with life without last year’s hooker, Michael Ennis.
However, Hodgson believes that new Sharks Hooker Jayden Brailey “stood up well in defence and got around the park well” and claims there is no a target there on Saturday night.
Having rested up the bodies this week and undertaken a final captain’s run today, Hodgson is eager to help the Raiders get their season up and running in front of a crowd expected to be over sixteen thousand.
“It was a physical game up in Townsville and a few of the boys were pretty sore, but we have looked after the bodies this week and should be raring to go for tomorrow.”
With Hodgson eager to impress during his role as stand in skipper, he is hopeful all the players can put a few smiles on the faces of fans come Saturday night.
Written by Ricky Kelly.