Trent Hodkinson insists he isn’t worried about being demoted to reserve grade this weekend, saying that he is more than happy to bide his time and prove he deserves a first-grade recall.
While fellow Blacktown Workers halves partner Zach Dockar-Clay stole the headlines with a brilliant solo try, Hodkinson’s composure and experience were telling in the 18-all draw with the Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
He was right at home in the five-eighth position, his 174 first grade games telling, with Hodkinson doing the bulk of the kicking for the entire 80 minutes.
Despite this, the 30-year old said that the outing was important nonetheless, as he looks to force his way back into Manly’s first grade side.
“It was just to sort of blow the cobwebs out a bit,” he told NSWRL.com.au.
“I haven’t had a full game yet. I only got 13 minutes in the first game against the Tigers in the first grade off the bench.
“It’s all about getting a run and feel for it.”
Having partnered Magpies five-eighth Josh Reynolds in the 2014 NSW Blues State of Origin series winning side, the pair still regularly keep in touch.
“Yeah we always talk,” Hodkinson said.
“We live close so we always catch up and have a chat; we tend to not talk about the footy too much but when we do it’s obviously good advice both ways.
“He’s a good friend of mine, ‘Joshy’, and I hear he is going really well and putting a lot of pressure on Benji (Benji Marshall) and ‘Brooksy’ (Luke Brooks).”
And after starring in last week’s win over the Warriors with two tries and three try-assists, Reynolds’ strong form should see him recalled into the Tigers first grade squad this week after Marshall picked up a hamstring injury on the weekend.
For Hodkinson, however, any opportunity to push his own case took a hit when the previously winless NRL squad scored a big 46-12 victory over the New Zealanders on Saturday.
He said he isn’t worried though and is instead happy that his fellow teammates enjoyed much-deserved success.
“I’m not worried at all,” he said.
“I’m just going to continue to work hard and the rest will look after itself; there’s no point stressing about it.
“I was just happy for the club to get a win and for all the boys to be rewarded for a tough pre-season.”