Hodkinson can end Blues’ misery

Written By Unknown on Senin, 19 Mei 2014 | 23.40

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TRENT Hodkinson might just be the lucky omen NSW have been searching for to end eight long years of Origin pain.

Blues coach Laurie Daley will name his team on Tuesday and the Bulldogs halves combination of Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds is tipped to take over from the out-of-favour Roosters pairing of Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.


After just three wins from 12 Origin starts, Pearce's drunken bender is now set to cost him his Blues jumper, while Maloney has struggled for form and will end up as collateral damage from Pearce's axing.

It opens the door for the Bulldogs' table-topping duo to take over.

Reynolds and Hodkinson could take their Canterbury partnership to Origin football. Source: News Corp Australia

Reynolds has been one of the NRL's form players this year — and if Hodkinson gets the call-up it would make him the seventh player to wear the Blues' No.7 jumper since Andrew Johns inspired NSW's last series victory in 2005.

Our lucky No.7?

"No disrespect to Mitchell Pearce but if we do the same thing all the time we get the same result," said Steve Mortimer, the proud Bulldog who famously inspired the Blues' first series win in 1985.

Who would be the better pairing for NSW?

"Trent has a great attitude. He is tough. He can kick. He can goal-kick and he is now taking the ball to the line.

"I think Trent can do equally what (Pearce) did and probably even a little bit more. I think the change would be good."

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And a NSW jumper would also be the ultimate reward for Hodkinson's perseverance after he fought his way back from career-threatening knee and shoulder injuries.

Early last year Hodkinson was stuck in NSW Cup after playing just six NRL games in two years.


Since Johns's incredible ­series in 2005 the Blues have used a total of nine five-eighths and six halfbacks, including Craig Gower, Jarrod Mullen, Brett Kimmorley, Peter Wallace, Brett Finch and Pearce.

NSW will go into the series opener on May 28 at their longest TAB odds for an Origin at Suncorp — and the Blues are pretty much friendless.

Trent Hodkinson looks set to capitalise on Mitchell Pearce's off-field behaviour. Source: News Corp Australia

In NSW the TAB has taken 482 bets on the Maroons and just 115 on the Blues.

And it's no wonder given the recent history up north.


The Blues' last game one win in Queensland was in 2003 and since then they have only won three of 14 games at Suncorp — and two of those were dead rubbers (game three in 2009 and game three in 2007).

The series decider in 2005 was the last live game NSW won in Queensland. But Mortimer reckons the halves — and belief — are the keys this year.

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"Trent to me is like Cooper Cronk," Mortimer said.

"He might not be the most talented but he makes the most of his talent. The difference between NRL and State of Origin is mentality.

"You have to be strong in your thinking. You have to care for each other and look after each other.

"We have the talent in the backs and the depth in the ­forwards. Now all we need is a catalyst to steer them in the right area and that is a six and seven.

"And the way Josh and Trent are playing I would love to see them get the opportunity to wear the Blue jersey."

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