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Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson.

While Canberra players are still shattered by their last-gasp round three loss to the Warriors, some important lessons came out of it that should help the club as the season progresses.

One positive, according to hooker Josh Hodgson, was the successful way he and reserve dummy-half Tom Starling were able to work together out of necessity.

Starling's presence on the bench could have meant a spell for Hodgson if things had gone smoothly but, with three forwards being ruled out inside the first 12 minutes of the match, that plan went out the window.

Starling cut a lonely figure on the Raiders bench as the only available interchange from that point on but came on early in the second half and was used to spell Josh Papalii, Sia Soliola and Ryan Sutton for short periods with Josh Hodgson moving to a roving ball-playing forward role with the tactic all-but getting the team across the line.

"I thought he did a good job Tommy when he came on – I thought he was going to come out at front row at one point when I seen him sat by himself on the bench!" Hodgson laughed.

18th man given go ahead

"He did a great job Tommy, came on and gave us that bit of energy we needed, a bit of talk and a bit of spark.

"Especially when we was down on troops, I thought it was a good combination with me and Tommy at the time.

"A bit of change-up when there's a few tired legs on there, I thought it worked pretty well. If we had a few more middles that had a bit more energy and a bit more substitutes it's something we'd probably benefit from."

There is no reason coach Ricky Stuart couldn't use the same tactic in less challenging circumstances moving forward, according to Hodgson.

"It will probably depend on the opponent each week and what Stick wants to go with but it's definitely a nice option to have," he added.

"You want to play a bit of up-tempo footy and bring Tommy on when you've got those tired legs around the middle, it's a good option to have."

Having options will be crucial for any team that wants to do well this year, he added.

"It's kind of what you've got to do in this day and age and how quick the game's going," Hodgson said.

"We've seen a fair few injuries over the past couple of rounds. You've just got to be prepared to put your hand up and go wherever you're needed.

Every try from round 3

"I've got to take my hat off to Curtis Scott as well, he looks like he's maybe got a broken rib, I'm not too sure how bad it is but I know he was in a lot of pain and he stayed out there for basically the full second half with it and was struggling to move but we had no choice but for him to stay on.

"He could have put his hand up and walked off the field and said 'I'm gone' so for him to hang in there for us was a massive effort by him and shows how tough the kid is."

 

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