Tag Archive: Justin Hodges

Round 1 team list tips

Sydney Roosters star Todd Carney is out of Friday’s NRL season opener against South Sydney at the Sydney Football Stadium. Carney, who has endured a torrid lead-up to the start of the new campaign, following his arrest for drink-driving 10 days ago, has not been named in the Roosters side after failing to recover from January groin surgery. The Dally M Medallist sustained the injury playing for Australia in the Four Nations clash with New Zealand in Auckland in October. Coach Brian Smith named Braith Anasta at five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce with Carney expected to be back for the round two clash with Manly. However, the Roosters are boosted by the surprise return of secondrower Mitch Aubusson who had been expected to be sidelined until round four with a shoulder injury. Souths coach John Lang said he had been preparing for Carney to play and believed the troubled playmaker’s off-field problems would have no effect on his game. “He had a great season last year and I see no reason why he won’t pick up where he left off last year,” Lang said. “Often for players, the game and training, if there’s been a few problems that can be a bit of a relief for them rather than another pressure.” Continue reading

Broncos star Ben Hannant spoke last night of his torment after being scratched from a head-to-head duel with the man who took his Test and Origin jumpers last year – new Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott. Brisbane’s top prop Hannant (calf) and strike centre Justin Hodges (hamstring) will both be sidelined from Friday night’s round 1 NRL derby against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium after restricted training runs yesterday. Hannant’s place in Brisbane’s starting pack is likely to be taken by no-nonsense prop Scott Anderson when rookie head coach Anthony Griffin unveils his first premiership squad today. In other team news, ex-bricklayer Jack Reed and flyer Dane Gagai are set to make their NRL debut, with Reed poised to replace Hodges at centre and face Test star Willie Tonga. Continue reading

Hodges hopes hammy holds up

Brisbane centre Justin Hodges claims he missed too much football in 2010 to gamble his comeback on a dodgy hamstring in Friday week’s NRL season-opener against North Queensland. Hodges, who did not play a minute of football in 2010 because of a ruptured right Achilles, will have scans on Monday to determine the full extent of a hamstring “twinge” which ended his night early in Brisbane’s 26-6 trial win over Melbourne at Redcliffe on Saturday night. “I’m coming back from an Achilles injury and it feels awesome … this is a just a little bump in the road,” Hodges said, dismissing any concerns over his latest setback. “I’ll have scans on Monday but I’ve got a few weeks up my sleeve and I’m normally pretty good with hammys.” Still, the timing of the injury could not have been worse for Hodges. Continue reading

Cowboys walking wounded as trial injuries begin to mount

Justin Hodges made a successful return to action, but former Broncos team mate Antonio Winterstein is set to miss the start of the NRL season after suffering a broken jaw. Hodges set up a try with his first touch off the bench in the Broncos’ 26-4 trial win over the Cowboys in Alice Springs on Saturday night. “He got through a continuous 40 minutes and set up a try and there was no side affects from the injury, so I’m very happy with his involvement and getting through the game,” Broncos coach Ivan Henjak told AAP. It ended more than 500 days of NRL inactivity for the classy Broncos, Queensland and Australia centre, but Cowboys recruit Winterstein had far worse misfortune on the night. He went to hospital for scans just before halftime after suffering facial injuries in a sickening collision during a tackle. Continue reading

Hodges back Just in time for Broncs ’11 campaign

Nervous but pumped, Justin Hodges has promised to unleash the “full package” in his long-awaited playing comeback for Brisbane in Saturday night’s pre-season trial against the Cowboys in Alice Springs. The former Queensland and Australian centre’s last game of rugby league was the preliminary final against Melbourne in September 2009. A ruptured achilles tendon suffered during pre-season training kept him off the field for the whole of 2010. Brisbane weren’t the same side without Hodges who is one those players who has a presence on the field at any level. Two kilos heavier, refreshed and free of any judiciary baggage (carry over points and loading), Hodges said he was “busting” to play again. And he said the big sidestep, the fend, the aggression and the abrasiveness he liked to rub opponents with were all still there. “They’re all still there, especially the aggression … I think it’s got even worse. Continue reading

Bronco’s stables update

Brisbane’s teetering finals hopes have been dealt another blow with the revelation that star centre Justin Hodges fears his season is over. As injured Broncos skipper Darren Lockyer races the clock to be fit before the play-offs, Hodges conceded there was almost no hope of appearing this season after aborting a proposed comeback for Brisbane’s round 25 clash against the Warriors on Friday week. With Brisbane’s title prospects plunged into disarray by Lockyer’s rib problem, Broncos coach Ivan Henjak was hopeful the return of Queensland Origin ace Hodges on the eve of the finals would reinvigorate his star-studded squad. But a crestfallen Hodges admitted he is at long odds to return and he will put a red line through 2010 if he cannot prove his fitness for the Broncos’ final-round clash against the Raiders on September 3. “I’d say I won’t play again this year,” said Hodges, who just a fortnight ago was eyeing his much-awaited comeback. “I’m hoping to get back by Canberra, if I’m not back by then I will look to next year.¬†However, the outlook for Lockyer was far more optimistic with the 33-year-old skipper turning up at Broncos training yesterday. However, while he told coach Henjak he was “feeling better” he didn’t indicate just when he thought he’d play again following reports he would not get back on the field this season. “Locky had a bit of a run and a kick this morning (Wednesday),” said Henjak. “He said he was going to try and ramp things up a bit next week and see how it feels. He knows he’s body, he’s been playing long enough and he’s had ribs before so he knows what it’s all about. I trust his judgment on that.”

Bronco’s saddle up for finals, without Lockyer?

Coach Ivan Henjak concedes Brisbane could be forced to play their way into a 19th successive NRL finals campaign the hard way without inspirational skipper Darren Lockyer and strike centre Justin Hodges. Henjak is preparing for the absolute worse case scenario that Lockyer’s rib cartilage injury could stop him playing again in 2010. “If we’re going to make it (finals) we’re going to have to do it the tough way,” Henjak told AAP. Asked if he feared reports Lockyer could struggle to play again this year, he said: “that could be a possibility”. Teenager Corey Norman will step into Lockyer’s five-eighth role against Newcastle in another crunch game for Brisbane, needing at least one win from their last three games to continue their amazing record of not having missed the finals since 1991. Henjak made a late switch against Parramatta, starting with utility Matt Gillett, but has decided to give 18 year-old Norman a crack at the job until Lockyer makes it back, if he does. “We’ll name Corey Norman at five-eighth (Tuesday) and he’ll start there,” said Henjak, happy enough with Gillett’s cameo against the Eels. “Gillo (Gillett) was very good but I think he probably enjoys that running game a bit more than having the responsibility of ball-playing which probably takes something away from his natural game. Meanwhile Hodges’s hopes of a late return from the pre-season Achilles surgery which has kept him off the field all season have nose-dived. Hodges pulled up sore after training late last week and was unable to run on Monday. “He couldn’t do what he had to do today (Monday) so we’re no closer with him I don’t think,” said Henjak.

Henjack wields the discipline axe

Bronco’s pair Ben Te’o and Antonio Winterstein were axed yesterday for disciplinary reasons. Enraged Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak sent the duo packing just days shy of Friday night’s acid test against the Dragons in Wollongong. Te’o and Winterstein will play for Wynnum Manly and Easts respectively on Sunday after both arrived late to training. Youngsters Josh Hoffman and Dale Copley are set to join the NRL ranks. Last night Te’o declined to comment on the incident, while Winterstein was unable to be contacted. It will be the first Broncos match Winterstein has missed since his NRL debut with the club in round 1 last year. The discipline breach could not have come at a worse time for the battling Broncos who already have Israel Folau, Justin Hodges, Corey Parker and Jharal Yow Yeh sidelined through injury.