Dogs exit getting real for Hodkinson
Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson says coming up against his future club Newcastle next week won't be a distraction with his focus 100 per cent on current club Canterbury, but with a maximum of six games left in blue and white he admits his impending departure is starting to sink in.
Speaking after playing a pivotal role in his side's strong win over the Rabbitohs on Friday night, where he set up one try with a beautiful cut-out pass, kicked superbly all night and booted four goals, Hodkinson said it's all about helping his current club into the 2015 finals series.
"I don't know if I will [get nervous] but I'm still running out with a Bulldogs jersey so nothing changes there and I'm looking forward to it," Hodkinson said.
"It does [make it more real]. I haven't really thought about it too much to be honest. It hasn't hit me yet but the closer it gets it soon will. It hasn't hit me too much as yet but I'm sure I will soon."
Despite leaking a couple of second-half tries, Friday's win was the Bulldogs' most complete performance for some time and Hodkinson said the team effort was a massive boost, especially given the side's still-precarious ladder position.
"We know what we're capable of, we just had to get it right and I think [on Friday] we did," he said.
"We muscled up early, our big boys muscled up and set the platform for the rest of the game."
Hodkinson said he was happy with his own recent form, but gave the bulk of the credit to the impressive platform laid by his forward pack.
"It was good, those opportunities came and I was lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time," he said.
"Coming off the back of the go-forward that we had made it a bit easier. I was happy but not going to get too carried away.
"I thought young Lloydy Perrett stepped up, his offence and 'D' was really good, [David] Klemmer and [Sam] Kasiano, they were outstanding... James Graham. I thought Damien Cook was really good out of dummy half, he was sharp."
With the Bulldogs still ranked just sixth on the ladder Hodkinson said it is very much game on again next week when the side travels up the M1 to Newcastle.
"We know how important the last few games are and it was a great start [against Souths] but we can't get too far ahead of ourselves," he said.
"We've still got Newcastle next week and then the Warriors which will be dangerous the last round, we'll get back to work straight away."