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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Swooping season has begun

A magpie on the touch field at Kearneys Spring Sporting Complex, Saturday, August 27, 2016.

Spring is here and the magpie swooping season has begun.

Construction starts on Hoods Lagoon boardwalk

BOARDWALK WORKS: Cameron, Ashlynn and Sandy Frost walk along Hoods Lagoon, Clermont.

Hoods Lagoon boardwalk rejuvination begins.

From Casino to CQ: Emerald bull sales

SENEPOL BULL SALE: Vendor Colin Godfrey with son Blair.

The Godfrey family travel a long way to sell bulls at Emerald.

Local Partners

CH Regional Council heads to Blackwater

Central Highlands Regional Council recently visited Blacktown to give locals the opportunity to discuss local issues with councillors.

Unveiling ceremony to honour victims of flood

AFLOAT: Floating Lantern Ceremony at the Clermont Gold and Coal Festival paid tribute to the great flood in Clermont in 1916.

VICTIMS of Clermont's 1916 flood will be honoured in ceremony.

Swooping season has begun

A magpie on the touch field at Kearneys Spring Sporting Complex, Saturday, August 27, 2016.

Spring is here and the magpie swooping season has begun.

Construction starts on Hoods Lagoon boardwalk

BOARDWALK WORKS: Cameron, Ashlynn and Sandy Frost walk along Hoods Lagoon, Clermont.

Hoods Lagoon boardwalk rejuvination begins.

From Casino to CQ: Emerald bull sales

SENEPOL BULL SALE: Vendor Colin Godfrey with son Blair.

The Godfrey family travel a long way to sell bulls at Emerald.

Coal truck driver suing mine he crashed at

Former mine truck driver who crashed 280-tonn truck suing Anglo Coal

Black lung must be investigated, and fast says victim

Percy Verrall suffers from 'black lung' disease caused by his time spent coal mining.

'I don't want young people working in the mines to go through this'

Rural property: hot to trot

RURAL PROPERTY BOOM: Maguires Real Estate and Livestock owner, Tim Maguire at the saleyards where the price of cattle is influencing the rural property market.

Rural properties in high demand.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

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.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record