Bulldogs respecting Hodkinson's Knights
They may be coming last but the Newcastle Knights won't be underestimated by the Bulldogs this week, particularly with former Canterbury halfback Trent Hodkinson pulling the strings.
Current Bulldogs No.7 Moses Mbye said his team new exactly what to expect from his predecessor, in what will be Hodkinson's first game against his old club since joining Newcastle this season.
"Trent's doing a fantastic job up there. We're well aware of what he can do. Everyone is aware of the calibre of player he is. Even with their young troops up there, he's been getting them going forward and finishing their sets well," Mbye said.
"He hardly misses a goal either so every time they score it is six points. I don't feel for him up there though, he's our enemy at the moment.
"But he's taken a lot of weight on his shoulders up there in what is an immature and inexperienced side. For what he has around him, he's doing really well.
"In three or four years, the Knights are going to be a really good side and he's going to play a big part in that."
Bulldogs centre Josh Morris revealed the banter has begun all ready with his great mate Hodkinson.
"Trent will be up for the game no doubt. There's already been a bit of chatter amongst the WhatsApp group and I think he's really looking forward to seeing some familiar faces out there," Morris said.
"He's had a tough year and it's hard when you have so many young kids and injuries but they have looked good when Jarrod (Mullen) hasn't been injured and around helping them."
Prop Sam Kasiano was as equally affectionate about Hodkinson, but admitted he wouldn't be going easy on his old teammate.
"I miss him. He's a good guy," Kasiano said. "But I can't wait to play against him either… I can't wait to run at him."
Mbye labelled this week's clash with the Knights as "one of those scary games" due to the Bulldogs' own scratchy recent form.
A fortnight ago the Bulldogs were hammered 36-0 by reigning premiers North Queensland while they were lucky to edge out the Dragons last Friday by three points.
"Newcastle are bottom of the ladder but they have shown they can put good performances on. The way we have been going lately, we've been patchy and a bit clunky so we're definitely on our toes in hope of a good game," Mbye said.
"[The Knights are] a team that is building. They're a young side and with that comes a lot of enthusiasm. They have to be respected. The teams that haven't respected them well enough have had to deal with the consequences because they demand respect."