Bulldogs halves have runs on the board - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs halves have runs on the board

Ben Horne 16/12/2010 05:57:47 PM Comments (0)

It's no accident that Canterbury's new-look halves Trent Hodkinson and Kris Keating have ended up at the kennel, in fact the best mates planned it that way.

Although they didn't think it would happen so quickly, Hodkinson and Keating have talked regularly over the past few years about reuniting what they started as kids, for an NRL club.

As schoolmates at Westfields Sports High, team-mates at Cabramatta and rising stars in the Parramatta lower grades, the 22-year-old pair developed quite the combination until Hodkinson left for Manly.

Halfback and five-eighth pairings usually take a while to develop in first grade, but this duo is hoping the groundwork they've already set will help fast-track the process.

Of course, it's no certainty the two will start in the No.7 and No.6 jerseys together.

Former New Zealand international Ben Roberts will be hard to displace, and it remains to be seen how Ben Barba will go at fullback.

But if Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore is prioritising a tight relationship between his generals, he need look no further.

Hodkinson had to make the tough call to leave the Sea Eagles, where he very nearly took out rookie of the year honours in an impressive debut year.

Keating made the decision to move away from his junior club the Eels, where his brother Matt still plays.

These were the sacrifices made to continue their league journey together.

"Trent signed first before me so that was definitely a massive thing for me," said Keating.

"Trent signed and then there was an offer for me to take up at the Bulldogs and it was a big thing that he came to the club. That made me make my mind up pretty quickly.

"We're pretty close mates so you don't hesitate doing things for each other.

"We talk to each other like we're brothers and we gee each other up and have a bit of a laugh so it's pretty easy to get things across to each other."

The pair got a taste of playing together again last year when they were blooded in the NSW City Origin side.

Hodkinson said he and Keating talked regularly about how they could get their childhood combo back together again.

"Yeah we always brought it up but we never thought it would happen so soon," Hodkinson told AAP.

"But it's awesome, it's good being back on the same footy side.

"As juniors we read each other's games pretty well, and we knew the ins and outs of each other's games."

Hodkinson and Keating will continue through the pre-season under the watchful eye of former playmaking greats Brett Kimmorley and Jim Dymock, who work at the club as assistant coaches.

The former legends will help Hodkinson avoid the perils of second-year syndrome, and will help Keating find consistency in his game.

Kimmorley only retired this year, and his fresh perspective will do wonders for his successors.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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