Superboot 'Hokko' Dogs' iceman: Hasler

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has praised the composure of his match-winning halfback Trent Hodkinson in the wake of his side’s late 21-20 victory over the Warriors on Saturday night.

The 25-year-old playmaker had a hand in all three of the big plays, which led to the Bulldogs coming from eight points down with 14 minutes remaining to seal a stunning win.

On 67 minutes he gambled on a wayward Warriors pass, coming out of the line and picking it off to travel halfway up the field. Hodkinson’s quick play the ball meant the move ultimately set up the try to Tim Lafai in the ensuing plays.

Watch the NRL LIVE with a 2-week free trial.
Get the NRL Digital Pass now!

The man they call “Hokko” then delivered two crucial actions in the final five minutes, kicking a penalty from out wide and steeping up to slot a field goal with two on the clock.

“He did a great job for us there,” Hasler said.

“Hokko has been in good form this year, he has been in that situation before and he is that kind of player that is pretty composed, always cool and calm and always seems to have plenty of time with it.”

A former Manly star, Hodkinson’s conversion rate was also a key point in the victory, with his perfect effort off the boot – compared to opposite number Shaun Johnson’s two-from-four – ensuring the Dogs won despite scoring one less try.


Captain Michael Ennis echoed his mentor’s praise for Hodkinson, singling him and halves partner Josh Reynolds out as key figures in the away win.

“He (Hodkinson) is a very calm and composed guy, he has been like that for a number of years now,” Ennis said.

“He is a very controlled player and his combination with (Reynolds) is fantastic, and they are getting better and better each week.”

It was the second match in a row where the Bulldogs have claimed victory by a single point, following last week’s 9-8 win over the Roosters.

Despite not leading the match until the 78th-minute field goal, Hasler said he always knew his side would win it if they kept close to the Warriors.

“The side has worked hard over the off-season. It was just a matter of staying with them," he said.

“To come back from 20-12 down at one stage, we showed a bit of maturity and composure. We probably didn’t play particularly well, but to get the points is good.

“From that point of view it was a pretty solid win and the ability to win a game like that going forward is good for the players’ confidence as well.

“We have had a couple of big games against Melbourne and then last week against the premiers.”

Hasler also took time to applaud the efforts of the under-fire Warriors.

“The Warriors fans and Warriors media should be very proud of that side today. Give them a wrap and get behind them, because if they keep producing that kind of play they are going to beat a lot of sides," he said.

“If they play like that it’s going to be a very tough two points to get over here.”