Souths need to give GI early ball: Hodgo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths need to give GI early ball: Hodgo

Wayne Heming 25/04/2011 04:04:48 PM Comments (0)

Greg Inglis can help pull South Sydney's NRL season out of the mire if they use him better, according to his Queensland Origin centre partner Justin Hodges.

Coming to grips with the possibility of being without blockbusting England international forward Sam Burgess (ankle) for four months, the 15th placed Rabbitohs badly need Inglis to fire after slumping to their fifth loss of the season at the weekend.

Inglis, who has changed attacking sides, has copped criticism for his slow start to the season and has twice been outplayed by Bulldogs rival Jamal Idris who is firming for NSW Origin selection.

In his defence, Inglis had virtually no pre-season to get in shape following off-season shoulder surgery.

Brisbane's Hodges, who's coming back from spending a season on the sidelines in 2010 with an Achilles injury, says Inglis needs to get his hands on the football earlier to make an impact, not when the defence is in his face.

"It's frustrating for him because everyone is expecting big things from him and he is coming back from shoulder and hip injuries and still trying find his feet playing on a new side," said Hodges who lunched with Inglis in Sydney last weekend.

"A guy like Greg, you've just got to give him early ball.

"As you've seen in recent years he's very dangerous when he gets the ball with some time and space and I think they're just giving it to him way too late.

"When he gets it, he has like two or three metres to work with."

Hodges, hoping he and Inglis are reunited in the centres for Queensland next month, warned that if recent history was any indication Inglis' top form was around the corner, just in time for Origin I at Suncorp Stadium on May 25.

"He's been quiet at the start of the last few seasons and then, around Origin time, he turns it on," Hodges said.

"When he does, there's no better player in the game.

"He's like Black Caviar, when he's on, unstoppable.

"He's probably the best player in the world when he's in that form.

"I'd say he's just starting to warm up."

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