Bronco Hodges in no doubt for NRL clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bronco Hodges in no doubt for NRL clash

Wayne Heming 21/08/2011 06:18:22 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin dismissed concerns over chronic hamstring victim Justin Hodges after the star centre cut short his final training session before Monday's NRL clash with Newcastle.

Knowing Hodges's dodgy hamstring history, the sight of him leaving the training field in the rain halfway through Brisbane's final session was enough to sound alarm bells.

But Griffin said Hodges's early exit was simply precautionary on a wet track after he felt "some tightness" in his hamstring.

"Hodgo's just a little bit tight, he didn't train much this morning," said Griffin.

Brisbane is anticipating an aggressive approach from the Knights, especially former Bronco Neville Costigan, and for their strike backs to unleash some of their right side attack which has already produced 34 tries this season.

"Regardless of what the conditions are they'll lead with their attack and take us on," said Griffin.

"The thing about them is they have a lot of tricks in their bag, they don't come at you conventionally with their kicking game."

The slippery, difficult conditions spells a busy night for in-form Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman, who is coming off a career first NRL hat-trick of tries against the Cowboys last weekend.

"If they're these type of conditions (wet) he'll get plenty of work tomorrow night," said Griffin.

"Your back five are always under pressure but in wet conditions they come under a lot more pressure along with the wingers.

"Josh has been in good form but we have to show them a lot of respect with representative guys like Mullen and Gidley who have great kicking games.

"I'm sure that will be a big factor in the game but I have full confidence in Josh and our wingers Bealy (Gerard Beale) and (Jharal) Yow Yeh."

Yow Yeh earned a late call up after getting through Sunday's training session on his injured ankle.

He'll return to the right wing with Beale swapping sides at Dale Copley's expense.

Griffin said he hoped fans rallied to a call from Knight's coach Rick Stone to pack out Ausgrid Stadium to make it a tough night for the Broncos.

"There were 26,000 hostile people up there (Townsville) last weekend and I hope for the game they do fill it up and that they are parochial," he said.

"Newcastle is a very hard place to play because of that and it will be an experience for our guys."

Griffin said training in steady rain could benefit his players on Monday night.

"It's good we have that run this morning (in the rain) because from what we're hearing it's going to be similar wet conditions down there," he said.

Newcastle centre Junior Sa'u (hamstring) and Costigan (knee/calf) got through training in Sunday.

"Both Junior and Nev got through training well," said Stone.

"I'm happy with those two blokes and I'll make a decision on the bench in the morning."

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