Manly won't target ex-Eagle Hodkinson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly won't target ex-Eagle Hodkinson

Steve Jancetic 20/08/2011 04:14:14 PM Comments (0)

Manly claim former Sea Eagle Trent Hodkinson won't be subjected to any special treatment when he makes his return to Brookvale Oval with a Canterbury side desperate to keep its NRL season alive.

Hodkinson, who enjoyed a stunning debut season on the northen beaches in 2010, will line up against his old club for the first time on Sunday - having missed the previous encounter between the two teams this year due to suspension.

The Sea Eagles were livid when Hodkinson, earmarked as the long term successor to former skipper Matt Orford, accepted a rich deal to link with the Bulldogs after just a handful of top grade games last year.

While Hodkinson has enjoyed another strong campaign in 2011, the Sea Eagles have clearly moved on, their anger quelled by the arrival of another heir apparent in Daly Cherry-Evans, who has lifted Manly to second spot on the ladder and within sight of a serious shot at the title.

"I don't think we'll treat him any different from anyone else, he's good mates with most of the guys here and he always will be," hooker Matt Ballin said.

"Like anyone who leaves a club, fans sometimes don't like that and players have to deal with those sorts of things.

"I'm sure he'll be fine ... he played really well for Manly and it's just part of the game, moving on."

Sea Eagles five-eighth Kieran Foran said the way it has panned out had been beneficial to all concerned.

"Trent was great for us last year, he had an enormous first year and he's been going great this year, but Daly's stepped in and he's going great guns," Foran said.

"(Hodkinson's) a pretty tough competitor, he likes to get in there and mix it, but he's a pretty crafty player, he can sting you at any time, he's got a pretty handy bag of skills."

The Bulldogs No.7 will need all his tricks if he is to inflict Manly's first Brookvale Oval defeat of the season.

Canterbury kept their finals hopes alive with a scrappy 19-12 win over Cronulla on Monday night, but it was hardly the type of performance to strike fear into the minds of their top-eight rivals, the win only sealed two minutes from time via Hodkinson's field goal.

The Bulldogs know they will have to throw more at the Sea Eagles if they are to snare an upset, which would leave them level on 26 points with South Sydney and Newcastle, with the Knights to face Brisbane on Monday night.

"We're going to have to score points to win and they're capable of scoring plenty themselves - so whilst we do have to be tough and grind it away we need to be executing in attack," Bulldogs lock Dene Halatau said.

"We were very close to things coming off (against Cronulla) but we're working on execution every week, making sure that the plays stick and we're clean with our passes.

"I think the last few weeks we've chanced our hand and Jimmy (coach Jim Dymock) wants us to play football ... we've definitely got the players that can create something, hopefully this is a week where it starts to click for us and we need to score some points."

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