Hodgson has faith in comeback kid Head - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodgson has faith in comeback kid Head

By Steve Jancetic and Peter Veness 12/04/2008 11:13:58 AM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers skipper Brett Hodgson believes the NRL return of injury-prone halfback Mathew Head could be the catalyst for a black and gold resurgence.

While it may be the smallest of silver linings in a very black cloud, Head is tipped to make his Tigers debut against Canberra on Sunday in place of injured superstar Robbie Farah.

Farah is expected to miss two weeks with a back problem, and it's ironic that his absence should open the door for Head given the former St George Illawarra star's career has been dogged by injury.

But given a second chance by the Tigers, Head is poised to take the first step towards rebuilding his career when he takes to Canberra Stadium.

And Hodgson said he could be just what the Tigers have been looking for at halfback.

"His direction in leading the forwards around the field is probably what we've lacked in the last week or two, he'll definitely be an added bonus there," Hodgson said.

"We've all got a lot of confidence in Heady if he does come in.

"He's been going all right, he's been going good in the (NSW Cup) when he's been playing and controlling the speed of the game pretty well.

"His kicking game's brilliant and it has been throughout his career."

Head is still no definite starter as coach Tim Sheens also toys with the idea of bringing Dean Collis into the centres and moving Tim Moltzen back to partner John Morris in the halves.

But Head is the likely option, the diminutive playmaker's surgically repaired knee having survived three games in the NSW Cup.

Despite Farah's absence the Raiders have spent plenty of time this week working on controlling the Tigers little men around the ruck after they were exposed in last week's loss to Gold Coast.

"They (Titans) worked us over pretty good and we're normally pretty tight around the ruck," hooker Lincoln Withers said.

"Hopefully this week we'll tighten up a bit, the Tigers will be looking for the same thing.

"They have some quick blokes who hit the ground and surrender a bit so if we win the ground we'll win the ruck and hopefully the game.

"(Hooker Stuart) Flanagan is a good player, he's been under Robbie for a few years and he gets in quick out of dummy half, so we'll have to watch him just as much as we do Farah."

Withers is back in the starting line-up after coming off the bench against the Titans as he continues his return from a sternum injury.

With back-up hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe not included on the bench, Withers knows he'll need to play more minutes on Sunday.

"(It's) probably back into the role from the start of the year and play the full 80, with (Alan) Tongue there to help for a few minutes if need be," Withers said.

"You always try to play as many minutes as you can so hopefully this week I get the whole lot."

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