Prop James Graham says Trent Hodkinson’s and Josh Reynold’s Origin experience will put the Bulldogs in good stead in the lead-up to the NRL finals.
The experience Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynold gained as NSW’s State of Origin-winning halves will be invaluable for Canterbury in the lead-up to the NRL finals and beyond, according to Bulldogs prop James Graham.
The Dogs halves combined well at Origin level to finally end eight years of interstate dominance by Queensland in their first taste of representative football together this year.
Canterbury share the equal NRL ladder lead after 17 rounds and are well poised heading into the final third of the home-and-away season.
“They will take a lot of confidence out of playing in that Origin win when they do come back,” Graham said.
“Hopefully that will rub off on us a little bit and hopefully we can give ourselves a good opportunity come September.
“I am hoping their input when they do come back from State of Origin is going to be a good one, I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be, that experience will have done them the world of good.”
“It should stand us in good stead.”
However the Dogs will have to do without Reynolds for three matches after he was suspended for a shoulder charge on Maroons winger Will Chambers in Origin III.
Tony Williams could reprise his surprise halves role for Saturday’s clash with the Storm in Melbourne after starring in their last-start upset win over Manly with Hodkinson and Reynolds on Blues duty.
Josh Jackson, who played five-eighth with the NSW pair absent, is another option.
Graham said Canterbury had shown they could adapt to challenging situations.
“We may have to face adversity later in the season and we may have to call on those guys to play in the halves then,” he said.