Sport

Hodgson and Smith ready to hook in

Josh Hodgson will be key to Canberra's ability to break through the Storm.
Josh Hodgson will be key to Canberra's ability to break through the Storm. LUKAS COCH

RUGBY LEAGUE: Canberra's Josh Hodgson has history in his sights as he looks to pull off an NRL premiership-Four Nations double by the end of the year.

The 26-year-old from Hull will go head-to-head with Melbourne Storm No.9 Cameron Smith, arguably the best dummy half in the world, at AAMI Park tomorrow for the ultimate prize - a place in next week's NRL grand final against either North Queensland or Cronulla.

Hodgson and Smith will lock horns again later this year in the Four Nations in the UK but for now their focus is on leading their sides through to the grand final.

The Raiders rake has been a revelation since Canberra negotiated his release from Hull KR last season.

He will be an instrumental player for the Raiders, having overcome a badly sprained ankle to play in last week's 22-12 win over Penrith.

His darts out of dummy half can break up Melbourne's defensive wall and get the Raiders' offence running early.

Smith identified Joseph Leilua and his right-side wing partner Jordan Rapana as the Storm's danger men, along with Hodgson.

"Those two (Leilua and Rapana) have just about been unstoppable. They got us a few times about six weeks ago (Canberra won 28-8 in round 23) and Leilua was dangerous every time he touched the football,” Smith said.

"Josh Hodgson had a fantastic year in the No.9. He directs a lot of their play from dummy half and he loves to run the footy himself.”

The Queensland and Australian hooker said Melbourne had benefited greatly from their week off, as their rivals had a torrid 80 minutes last weekend against Penrith.

"You like to stay away from those big collisions and we're all feeling pretty fresh even though Craig (Bellamy) had us play a game simulation at the weekend,” he said.

Canberra, which has enjoyed fanatical support, will confront a sea of purple from a sell-out crowd, with no AFL game in Melbourne tomorrow.

Smith anticipated the Raiders would try to drive their way through Melbourne's middle third.

"We struggled against them a few months ago when they came through the middle,” he said.

Topics:  cameron smith, canberra raiders, josh hodgson, melbourne storm, nrl finals



LETTER: Bats were there before development

Bats on their nightly eat and feast mission.

Who allowed development in an area where the bats live?

The stately manors of early Ipswich

STATELY MANOR: Booval House was built more than 160 years ago and remains as one of the prestige homes in Ipswich.

Built more than 160 years ago and still going strong

Police appeal for witnesses to fatal motorcycle crash

Scene of a fatality where male motorcycle rider lost his life on Augusta Parkway at Brookwater.Photo: Contributed

Police have ruled out a white ute from their investigations.

Local Partners

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.