Hodkinson keen to link with Noddy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodkinson keen to link with Noddy

By David Beniuk 28/07/2010 06:16:32 PM Comments (0)

Departing Manly halfback Trent Hodkinson is hoping he'll get the opportunity to play alongside Brett Kimmorley when he joins Canterbury next season.

Veteran Kimmorley is due to make a call on his future within the next week and the Bulldogs have not ruled out an on-field role despite signing Hodkinson and Parramatta half Kris Keating.

The Dogs will also have current five-eighth Ben Barba on their books, although he is expected to switch to fullback as Luke Patten's replacement, and former New Zealand half Ben Roberts.

Hodkinson doesn't see the hot competition for two halves positions as a problem, even if 33-year-old Kimmorley plays on.

"He's a fantastic player and he's been around for a long time," the Sea Eagles No.7 told reporters on Wednesday.

"I enjoy watching him play so that's up to him (whether he plays on).

"It would be a great experience playing alongside him."

Hodkinson has more immediate concerns, though, with Manly building some late-season momentum on the back of two straight wins.

Their impressive 38-20 disposal of the Wests Tigers on Sunday backed up a thrashing of Cronulla after the Sea Eagles had slumped mid-season, losing four of five games before the two victories.

"You can definitely feel it out there on the field that we've turned the corner," Hodkinson said.

"We're just happy that we can maintain our effort in the second half and close out games, so that's been a positive thing coming out of the last few weeks."

Apart from their form, the main talking point out of the defeat of the Tigers was hitman Steve Matai's run-in with Robbie Farah.

The Kiwi international was cleared by the NRL match review committee this week after controversially being placed on report for a high shot which prompted claims the Tigers hooker had taken a dive.

"I didn't think there was too much in it on the day," Manly co-captain Jamie Lyon said.

"The referees took control of it and it was the right result I think for him to be cleared.

"What happens on the field stays there. (Farah's) a good competitor and everyone's out there trying to get a win.

"He's probably got a light hit there and it could have hurt him. We're not too concerned about it.

"(Matai's) a passionate player and puts his body on the line every week and there's probably a fine line.

"He is probably one of the biggest hitters in the game and we're very grateful to have him in our team."

Matai is off-contract with Manly at season's end and had imposed an ultimatum on the club to come up with an acceptable deal.

Coach Des Hasler remains hopeful of keeping the 25-year-old, but would only say: "Things are progressing really well there."

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