Twelve months on, Hodgson still breaking down barriers
Canberra's Josh Hodgson believes crashing through a Dunedin door and into minor rugby league infamy 12 months ago was the beginning of his ascent to being England's starting hooker.
In the space of that year, the Hull-raised 26-year-old has gone from being a spectator as the English were eliminated from the Four Nations at Forsyth Barr Stadium to likely keeping the iconic James Roby on the bench for this Saturday's deciding Test at Wigan's DW Stadium.
After the 16-14 defeat to the Kiwis last November, Hodgson was filmed leaving a ragged hole in a door at a student party and arrived for his first year in the Australia capital with his tail firmly between his legs.
"I'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason," Hodgson told NRL.com.
"I tend to be the sort of guy who is really hard on myself… I do kick stones and that's something I've tried to get rid of.
"(What I've learned) from that, and from Ricky Stuart and from the Raiders is that you can't kick stones for too long. You've got to get back on track and get into shape and get ready for the next week."
Hodgson said learning to deal with the bad publicity surrounding the incident helped him make "massive" improvements on the field as well.
"It's as most people's careers are – a bit of a bumpy ride," he explained.
"This year's been a big learning curve for me at the Raiders and a massive eye-opener and a great experience for me, playing in the NRL with that intensity every week.
"If you have an off week, no matter what team you're playing, you tend to get beat.
"Me going to the NRL has changed me massively as a player. Whether I would still be here now (regardless), I don't really know."
Hodgson scored a try during the First Test in Hull – "It was a dream come true to get the try and get the win in front of a home crowd as well" – and hopes to register a third win over Issac Luke for 2015 on Saturday.
"We played Souths in Cairns and got the result," he said. "He's one of the best hookers in the world, Issac. It's great playing against him."
New Zealand trained on Wednesday at the Liverpool FC training facility as they continued their Test preparation at the home of The Beatles.
Back rower Kevin Proctor said the Kiwis would again try to run the English ragged with offloads.
"We were making sure that if we throw the offload, it went to hand," said Melbourne's Proctor.
"When you're doing that and they're getting so many numbers in the tackle, it makes it hard for them to get back to their [defensive] line.
"So I think we'll try and keep that going this week – but they defended well."
A lavish series dinner will be held on Thursday night at the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays, near Manchester.