Sport

Hodgson and Smith ready to hook in

Josh Hodgson will be key to Canberra's ability to break through the Storm.
Josh Hodgson will be key to Canberra's ability to break through the Storm. LUKAS COCH

RUGBY LEAGUE: Canberra's Josh Hodgson has history in his sights as he looks to pull off an NRL premiership-Four Nations double by the end of the year.

The 26-year-old from Hull will go head-to-head with Melbourne Storm No.9 Cameron Smith, arguably the best dummy half in the world, at AAMI Park tomorrow for the ultimate prize - a place in next week's NRL grand final against either North Queensland or Cronulla.

Hodgson and Smith will lock horns again later this year in the Four Nations in the UK but for now their focus is on leading their sides through to the grand final.

The Raiders rake has been a revelation since Canberra negotiated his release from Hull KR last season.

He will be an instrumental player for the Raiders, having overcome a badly sprained ankle to play in last week's 22-12 win over Penrith.

His darts out of dummy half can break up Melbourne's defensive wall and get the Raiders' offence running early.

Smith identified Joseph Leilua and his right-side wing partner Jordan Rapana as the Storm's danger men, along with Hodgson.

"Those two (Leilua and Rapana) have just about been unstoppable. They got us a few times about six weeks ago (Canberra won 28-8 in round 23) and Leilua was dangerous every time he touched the football,” Smith said.

"Josh Hodgson had a fantastic year in the No.9. He directs a lot of their play from dummy half and he loves to run the footy himself.”

The Queensland and Australian hooker said Melbourne had benefited greatly from their week off, as their rivals had a torrid 80 minutes last weekend against Penrith.

"You like to stay away from those big collisions and we're all feeling pretty fresh even though Craig (Bellamy) had us play a game simulation at the weekend,” he said.

Canberra, which has enjoyed fanatical support, will confront a sea of purple from a sell-out crowd, with no AFL game in Melbourne tomorrow.

Smith anticipated the Raiders would try to drive their way through Melbourne's middle third.

"We struggled against them a few months ago when they came through the middle,” he said.

Topics:  cameron smith, canberra raiders, josh hodgson, melbourne storm, nrl finals


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Give Showgirl challenge a go to support Mullumbimby

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT: Mullumbimby Show Girl 2015, Erin Dousling.

Erin urges others to get involved in Mullumbimby show.

Bangalow traffic fears over proposed food collective

FOOD COLLECTIVE: The proposed 65-acre, $23.5m agri-business site proposed for Bangalow.

Residents group urges opposition to Food Collective.

Local Partners

Break strings, ho hearts

Master ukulelist visits this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Give Showgirl challenge a go to support Mullumbimby

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT: Mullumbimby Show Girl 2015, Erin Dousling.

Erin urges others to get involved in Mullumbimby show.

Bangalow traffic fears over proposed food collective

FOOD COLLECTIVE: The proposed 65-acre, $23.5m agri-business site proposed for Bangalow.

Residents group urges opposition to Food Collective.

BEACH SAFETY: Can you reduce your risk of a shark attack?

Yesterday's attack reminded us that sharks are still out there, despite a quiet year so far. There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of an unwanted encounter.

Some tips and helpful apps to help you be safe

Lessons in futsal and life in Brazil

PURSUING HIS DREAM: Mullumbimby's Marc Starrett trained in Brazil as a futsal goalie.

FUTSAL training in Brazil pays of for Mullumbimby player.

De La Soul: The hippies of hip hop in Byron

ICONS: American hip hop band De La Soul are Vincent Mason, Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur.

The American trio is an icon of contemporary urban music.

It's time to get your shorts on the big screen

ANIMATED: Citizen To Activist, an animation by David Lowe and Eve Jeffrey, won the Jury Award for best Short Film at Flickerfest 2015 - Byron AllShorts.

Entries for Flickerfest 2017 and Byron All Shorts are now open

Break strings, ho hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.