Versatility required in the faster, modern game: Hodgson
The Canberra Raiders were reduced to 14 men last Saturday against the New Zealand Warriors, after suffering a horror injury toll.
Thirteen fit men, given that Curtis Scott was playing with a likely broken rib.
So it was all hands on deck... with some players forced into playing in unfamiliar roles.
Canberra Raiders co-captain Josh Hodgson says that with rule changes speeding up the game and injuries aplenty, the modern rugby league player has to be versatile.
"I think that's what you've kind of got to do in this day and age and how quick the game is going," Hodgson said today.
"We've seen a fair few injuries over the past round, and the past couple of rounds. I think you've just got to be prepared to put your hand up and go where ever you're needed."
Siliva Havili, who came to the club as a back up for Hodgson at hooker, has had to also play quite a bit of football in the middle. On Saturday, he had to cover the loss of Sebastian Kris in the second row.
"I thought Liva did a fantastic job for us out in the right back row," Hodgson said.
"I can't remember a time when he's played there for us before. So to see him not only play there, but to do really well and to punch out some big minutes, was a tribute to him and how hard he worked in the off season."
"He's really knuckled down and he's looking as fit as I've ever seen him this year. I was glad to see Liva play some big minutes, and play some really strong good minutes as well, and not just get through it."
Hodgson himself had to change roles, when Tom Starling was injected into the game at dummy half. Hodgson thought that worked well. And it is a tactic coach Ricky Stuart may well use again.
"It'll probably depend upon each week and what the Stick wants to go with, but it's definitely a nice option to have," Hodgson said.
"If we want to play a bit of up tempo footy, we can bring Tommy [Starling] on when they've got those tired legs around the middle. It's a good option to have."
Hodgson paid tribute to Curtis Scott for his efforts in playing on while injured, in an hour of need.
"I've got to take my hat off to Curtis Scott as well," Hodgson said.
"He looks like he's maybe got a broken rib, I'm not too sure about it. He was in a lot of pain and he stayed out there for basically the whole second half with it."
"He was struggling to move but we had no choice but for him to stay on."
"He could have put his hand up and just walked off the field and said "I'm gone". So for him to hang in there for us was a massive effort by him and shows how tough the kid is."
Half George Williams, who was playing alongside Scott on the right edge, echoed his captain's thoughts.
"He was in a world of pain. He did a great job just to get through the match. I think he did it in the third minute, so credit to him," Williams said.
"That's the kind of courage and desire we showed on the weekend."
The Raiders face another tough opponent this week, in the Gold Coast Titans.
"They've recruited well and started the season pretty well," Williams said.
"They'll be pretty confident, but so are we. We had a loss but it's not the end of the world. We're not re-inventing the wheel. We know what we're good at and we'll get back to that this week."
A report for The Greenhouse
VIDEO: Williams and Hodgson praise Scott for playing through pain: https://www.raiders.com.au/news/2021/03 ... ough-pain/
Fans won't let Titan forget Papalii chase: https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league ... -c-2472616