Reynolds to step in for Hodkinson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reynolds to step in for Hodkinson

Angela Habashy 31/05/2011 07:44:24 PM Comments (0)

Rookie playmaker Josh Reynolds has a fortnight to stake a claim for a regular NRL berth after suspension robbed Canterbury halfback Trent Hodkinson a first meeting against former club Manly on Saturday night.

Hodkinson pleaded guilty to a grade two dangerous contact charge after a nasty incident involving Gold Coast's Steve Michaels, Hodkinson making contact with the Titans winger's head while he was prone on the turf.

The ban has opened the door for 22-year-old Reynolds, who made an impressive NRL debut in the round 11 clash against Canberra when he was thrown in at hooker in place of NSW Origin representative Michael Ennis.

"Losing Trent that's going to be a big loss," Bulldogs second-rower Corey Payne said after training on Tuesday.

"He's been our halfback for the whole season but we've got a good, young up-and-coming player in Josh Reynolds.

"I'm sure he'll fill the void and put his best foot forward.

"He played really well against Canberra two weeks ago and got players' player so I'm sure he's excited to get another opportunity."

Bulldogs veteran Michael Hodgson echoed Payne's comments, saying he was confident Reynolds would be up to leading the side around the park.

"He's a very versatile, talented kid and he's very confident without being arrogant," Hodgson said.

"He's got a really good head on his shoulders and I'm really looking forward to playing with him."

The match between the fourth-placed Sea Eagles and the seventh-placed Bulldogs looms as the match of the round with Canterbury looking to capitalise on their confidence-building win over the Gold Coast on Friday after three straight losses.

"It's been a tough month for us with three losses recently," Payne said.

"It is a big game, Manly are going well we're hopeful of putting in a really good performance and building on what we did last Friday night."

With the season reaching the halfway point the Bulldogs are even more desperate to keep their winning momentum going with a bye next round.

"We're in a rock and a hard place," Hodgson admitted.

"We're not travelling as well as we would have liked. We've had one more win than we've had loses.

"We've got the bye next week so if we can turn this into a four-point weekend it will definitely help our campaign for the back end of the season."

Hodgson will reach a milestone in the match against Manly, taking to the field for his 200th NRL game, while teammate Corey Payne will be celebrating his 100th.

"Definitely a great milestone 200 hundred NRL games, it's been a long time coming considering I debuted in 1998 for Parramatta," Hodgson said.

"There's been a lot of highs and lows so to get there is something very special for me."

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