Hodge steals Folau’s thunder in Argentina win


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    Reece Hodge has hailed the Wallabies pack and star-studded backline after stealing Israel Folau’s thunder with a career-first Test try-scoring double in Australia’s 37-20 Rugby Championship win over Argentina.

    All the pre-match focus was on Folau and the superstar fullback’s bid to break the world record for most tries in a calendar year after he eclipsed Lote Tuqiri’s Australian-best tally of 10 with his 11th five-pointer against South Africa.

    But it was Hodge who delivered a decisive double in Mendoza as the Wallabies secured second spot in the championship.

    While Folau finished empty-handed, Hodge crossed in each half and would have collected a hat-trick if not for a forward pass in the lead-up to another fine attacking play on Sunday morning.

    After being used in the centres for most of his 19 Tests since debuting last year, the classy utility is revelling on the wing for the Wallabies.

    Deflecting the praise, the humble back says it’s a dream playing outside the likes of Folau, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley and Will Genia.

    “It’s really exciting to play off the back of that. When they get the ball, anything can happen,” Hodge said.

    “Bernie talks about it at every session and every backs review that we’ve got to be chasing through and chasing those line breaks and not assuming there’s going to be a ruck there.

    “With those guys there, it’s a pretty realistic thing to have line breaks. It’s pretty good to play off.”

    Hodge, though, reserved special gratitude for the Wallabies forwards, saying the backline couldn’t thrive without the necessary go-forward.

    “It really came down to our ruck work. When we get that speed of ball, we really back our shape,” he said.

    “We can go through anyone if we really nail down that attacking breakdown.

    “When we start going forward, anyone can get involved no matter if you’re one to 15. It’s a bit of a cliche but when the forwards are going forward, it makes it really easy to play.

    “So I’m really enjoying playing off the back of that.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • October 9th 2017 @ 9:27am
      Bill said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      Why is everything referenced back to Folau. Enough already!

    • October 9th 2017 @ 10:27am
      PiratesRugby said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      Hodge should play 10 on Spring Tour. The idea would be for him to play super rugby at 10 all of next year and at test level too. That would give Cheika two experienced test fly halves going into RWC19. If Cheika prefers Foley (which I disagree with) he should still have a backup. Foley is a resilient little player but injuries happen in test rugby. Its just risk management to have an alternative ready to go.
      Folau is a champion and nothing can be inferred from one quiet performance. But he’s been with the Wallabies for what, five years or so? Why hasn’t he learned to kick? Whether he plays at fullback or the wing, adding kicking to his repertoire would make him lethal.
      So Hodge says the forwards set the the platform for the attack. Hmm… so if we had a balanced backrow? Imagine Dempsey, Pocock and Timani with Hooper/McMahon coming off the bench. The tight five is looking good (assuming that Moore, Simmons and Robertson are left out) and a balanced back row would make the Wallabies pack a juggernaut.
      I thought TPN was finished a couple of years ago but he’s playing great rugby. Did you see him running support lines and covering in defence? He really wants to be there. He’s a great bloke and I’m really happy for him.

    • October 9th 2017 @ 1:02pm
      Bob Wire said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

      Steady on using “Bernie” That name is taken by a Wallaby great.

      • Roar Rookie

        October 9th 2017 @ 1:10pm
        Paul D said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

        So he can’t refer to his attack/backs coach Stephen Larkham as Bernie? Which Wallaby great has ownership of the name then???

        • October 9th 2017 @ 3:09pm
          Bob Wire said | October 9th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          You are quite correct! My bad.

    • Roar Guru

      October 9th 2017 @ 2:56pm
      taylorman said | October 9th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

      There you go Fionn… a dream to play with Foley!?

    • Roar Guru

      October 9th 2017 @ 11:11pm
      Timbo (L) said | October 9th 2017 @ 11:11pm | ! Report

      Hodge is humble and says it how it is. Respecting the rest of the team for making a finisher’s job possible.

      I am going to avoid my usual Folau Bashing because recently he too credited the players inside him for doing the setup work for him to finish. Most of the Hype has come from the media and their clickbait headlines, this one included. Nothing was stolen from Folau, it just needed 1 more pass than normal to score. Marika and Reece have been needed for finishing in the last few games.

      Does that make them better than Folau? Nope, not at all, players should be judged on the 60-80 minutes they are on field.

      It was tough to follow, Hodge, MacMahon and Rodda all seemed to look the same with their heads bandaged up, but I am certain that Hodge made a lot of tackles and defended a lot of rucks. These are traits that make him a highly valued member of the team.

      Well done Reecey!

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