Hodgson eyes unlikely ton

Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:30
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Captain Matt Hodgson is set to become the first Western Force player to notch up a ton of games against all the odds.

Captain Matt Hodgson is set to become the first Western Force player to notch up a ton of games against all the odds.
 
The Western Force skipper's career was at a crossroads during the middle of last decade after he suffered serious knee and shoulder injuries ffollowing an ankle reconstruction. With his body battered and bruised, a rugby career at the elite level looked beyond Hodgson.
 
But nine years later, and with 99 Super Rugby caps behind him Hodgson is looking back at his illustrious career with fondness.
 
A dedicated rehabilitation program got Hodgson back on track and inaugural Force coach John Mitchell gave the young flanker his big break.
 
"I had had three reconstructions in three years, and got told I might not play again after a big knee injury in the sevens," Hodgson told AAP. "I just put my head down and tried to focus on rehab.
 
"I was lucky enough to catch up with John Mitchell in a one-on-one meeting, and I was lucky enough to fill a roster spot at the Force. 
 
"Moving over here in 2005 I was happy to get one game. Now to reach 100 games is a big achievement for me," he added.
 
Hodgson played in the Force's first ever game - a 25-10 loss to the Brumbies in 2006 - and he has been a part of the side ever since.
 
The Force are yet to make the play-offs, and a top-six berth looks beyond them this season after opening their campaign with successive losses.
 
But Hodgson is confident team success isn't far away, claiming the programme coach Michael Foley has set in place will eventually yield results.
 
"To get the Force to the top of the table is something I want to do,"the 32-year-old said. "We've built something special under Foles. We've got belief in ourselves. Now it's just about turning it around."
 
Hodgson is contracted until the end of next season, and the Sydney-born forward hasn't ruled out playing on after that. But his immediate focus is on Saturday night's home clash with the Rebels in Perth.
 
Perth holds no fears for the Rebels, who have won their past four games against the Force - two of which were in Perth.
 
"They're unpredictable," Hodgson said. "We're looking for them to come out and play an expansive game."
 
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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9