Hodges happy to play the villain
You can bet Justin Hodges was called just about every name under the sun by NSW fans before, during and after Origin I.
So it is probably a good thing he couldn't care less.
It is fair to say Hodges happily cast himself into the role of villain during the Maroons' 11-10 win at ANZ Stadium three weeks ago.
His first-half tackle which left Robbie Farah wounded did little to endear him to the Blues fans who already despised him in the first place.
Neither did his last-minute ruffle of the hair of Ryan Hoffman. It was his final, cheeky bit of antagonism on a night that ultimately ended in sweet victory for the veteran's Maroons.
He certainly walks a fine line but Hodges is more than happy to if helps Queensland win his ninth shield for his state.
"It's the sport we play, you either hit someone or they're going to hit you," Hodges said.
"This is Origin, the toughest game of all, so you just have to go out there and compete. That is just the way the game goes sometimes."
What perhaps makes Hodges more determined to walk that line is that this year marks his representative swansong.
After 22 games for Queensland and 13 for Australia it has been a decorated career for the 33-year-old from Cairns.
"I know I've only got two games left for Queensland and my driving force is to try and bring back the shield," Hodges said.
"I've only got two more times that I'll put on this great jersey so I just want to go out there and try and play the best footy I can for my teammates."
Hodges may leave the Origin stage a villain but he is determined to do it as a victorious one.
Video courtesy of qrl.com.au