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



UNITED FRONT: Mayor on ticket of unity

Newly elected Clarence Valley Council mayor Jim Simmons

New council leadership team determined to see the region grow

Justice Crew: Grafton to host one of only seven shows

Pop sensations Justice Crew are heading to the Clarence next on Thursday, October 6 o perform their new show It's What We Do.

Justice Crew brings new show to Saraton Theatre

Youth community speaks out online

SHARING STORY: Connor Tarrant is trying to help promote mental healthfor young people.

One youth speaks out about his mental health to help others

Local Partners

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

Justice Crew: Grafton to host one of only seven shows

Pop sensations Justice Crew are heading to the Clarence next on Thursday, October 6 o perform their new show It's What We Do.

Justice Crew brings new show to Saraton Theatre

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Big live acts for a big grand final weekend

Don't miss Canadian songman Harry Manx Thursday night at the Yamba Golf Club.

Enjoy another big weekend of live entertainment

Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

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

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

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