Josh Morris, Halatau eye return for Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Josh Morris, Halatau eye return for Dogs

By David Beniuk 11/05/2010 02:02:48 PM Comments (0)

Josh Morris and Dene Halatau are in line for returns from injury when Canterbury take on the side they still regard as the NRL's benchmark, St George Illawarra.

Centre Morris, tipped for a NSW State of Origin call-up, will return from a cracked eye socket, while Halatau has trained strongly in his return from a knee injury.

The former Wests Tigers back-rower has made just one appearance for his new club this season and will be assessed this week ahead of Friday night's ANZ Stadium showdown.

Prop Ben Hannant (knee), five-eighth Ben Roberts (ankle) and second-rower Yileen Gordon (ankle) will remain on the sidelines for at least another week.

Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan said the Dragons, who thrashed Canterbury 26-6 in round two, remained the team to beat in 2010 despite a loss to Manly on Saturday night.

"They've been outstanding right throughout the first eight or nine rounds of the competition," Ryan told reporters on Monday.

"They gave us a bit of a touch-up in the early rounds so it's a good challenge for us."

But he said the Dogs would be having a close look at the blueprint provided by the Sea Eagles in the physical 24-6 win at Brookvale Oval.

"They were pretty intense, their defence is outstanding, they just kept working for each other and they certainly put a fair bit of pressure on the Dragons," Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Canterbury prop Michael Hodgson has extended his stay at the NRL club until the end of 2011.

The 30-year-old journeyman, who has produced career-best form since joining the Bulldogs last season, will saddle up for his 14th season next year.

Hodgson has previously played for Parramatta, Canberra and the Gold Coast.

His signature is an important boost for Canterbury, who could lose homesick Test prop Hannant at season's end.

Hodgson has overcome his own bout of homesickness, re-signing despite his wife living in Canberra where she runs a business.

"She's very supportive and happy for me to do it again," he said.

"There's a few boys in the NRL who do it.

"It's all for a good cause and I'm still enjoying my football so we'll keep it going."

The Dogs will look to raise awareness of perinatal depression in the lead-up to the clash with the Dragons as part of their partnership with Beyond Blue.

"I think we've got pretty close to 50 kids in the club," Ryan said.

"With so many families at the club and so many kids running around, I think it's something that we were all more than happy to support."

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