Just like the Tigers of 2005? Hodgson says current crop is like 2004



  • Just like the Tigers of 2005? Hodgson says current crop is like 2004
    By Adrian Proszenko 22 March 2018 — 5:06pm

    It would be outrageously premature to compare, after just two rounds, the current Wests Tigers team to the one that took the joint-venture outfit to its first and only premiership back in 2005. But if there is a parallel to be drawn then it is appropriate that it is done so by Brett Hodgson, a star from those glory days who is back at the club as part of coach Ivan Cleary’s brains trust. “It does remind me of ‘04 when Tim Sheens brought in a whole host of new players to the club,” Hodgson told Fairfax Media. “We didn’t have the success that we obviously did in ‘05, but it was a bit of a changing of the culture at that stage as well. “I definitely see similarities in that. In terms of end result, we’re too far away to judge that obviously.”

    Hodgson is back at the club, as an assistant to Cleary and also the coach of the Magpies NSW Cup side. His presence is already being felt. Both of those teams are undefeated. The goalkicking work he has done with Tui Lolohea has already paid dividends, as evidenced by the fullback’s match-winning sideline conversion against the Roosters. Perhaps most importantly, ‘Hodgo’ - alongside fellow prodigal sons Benji Marshall and veteran trainer Ronnie Palmer - provides a vital link to the club’s past as it steps into a new era.

    Much like the 2005 Tigers, nobody gives the current mob a chance. Many have written off the early wins against the Roosters and Melbourne as a fluke, a case of getting the premiership heavyweights before they get into gear. However, another big scalp, Brisbane at Campbelltown on Friday night, will prompt the rest of the competition to take notice. Regardless, Hodgson couldn’t be happier to return to the fold. The former fullback has resettled back in Campbelltown after a coaching stint in England. “I’m loving it,” Hodgson said. “Getting the opportunity to come home, it was never something I was going to let slide. It’s been everything which I wanted it to be, which is brilliant.

    “I definitely see that everyone is happy at the place. It’s really positive that everyone has bought into what Ivan is trying to achieve and we’ve had a bit of success in the first few rounds.” The former NSW custodian, even during his playing days, always had a desire to transition into the clipboard ranks. His ultimate ambition is to become an NRL head coach “at some point”, but for now couldn’t be happier learning his trade under Cleary. “It’s something I wanted to be part of my future, so now I’ve got the opportunity at the Tigers, it’s amazing,” he said.

    Hodgson made his name as one of the club’s great fullbacks, and returns at a time when there is much conjecture over who should now own the position. The departure of James Tedesco has left a huge hole, which to date has been capably filled by Lolohea and Corey Thompson. Hodgson is well positioned to provide an appraisal of both, particularly given he spent the past two seasons with Thompson at Widnes. “There’s no doubt when he’s happy and enjoying his footy, he’s a very dangerous and capable player,” Hodgson said. “For him to take his opportunity against Melbourne was very good. The competition they have for that position - or if Corey or Nofa (David Nofoaluma) is on the wing - there’s an element of everyone working hard for each other to get themselves into the team. “Corey’s ability to beat a bloke one on one is brilliant. He’s so light on his feet and his balance is exceptional. “His energy levels are like an Energiser bunny, he just keeps going. It was epitomised when they had an opportunity and he was at marker against Melbourne, they kicked it back to the posts, he got a hand on it and got to the ball somehow. “That’s what Corey does, he’s very gifted in terms of his balance. Winger or fullback, he’s a very capable player.”

    Hodgson can only recognise a handful of familiar faces at Concord. Benji is back, John Skandalis and Paul Whatuira still have roles at the club and Chris Lawrence was just a Tiger cub coming through the grades when Hodgson was playing. Only time will tell if they and the many new recruits will be able to gel as capably as Sheens’ underdogs. “Internally, the last thing we’re thinking of is semifinals, but you want to start off as well as you can,” Hodgson said. “I feel what [footy general manager] Kelly Egan, Ivan and [CEO] Justin Pascoe are doing at the club now is heading in that direction. It’s very exciting.”



  • True to an extent, but there isn’t the potency in attack. Definitely don’t have anything that resembles an 18 year old Marshall.



  • But we do have “Energiser bunny”!



  • @:

    True to an extent, but there isn’t the potency in attack. Definitely don’t have anything that resembles an 18 year old Marshall.

    nor a Scott Prince



  • I think he was just alluding this the culture and feel. Obviously we are a totally different team in terms of game style. We don’t need to be scoring 30pts a game if we limit points. Our attack will improve.


  • ForumSupporter

    Leave 2005 in 2005…



  • Is it just me or have the media entirely forgotten how good this club was in the 2010 and 2011 seasons? Those teams, led by Benji, could get in a grind if need be.

    The first two rounds have been far more like the teams from that time than anything in 2005 or 2004.



  • Ivans successor

    The ticker he displayed when he was running around is rubbing off on these blokes, its plain for all to see :master:



  • 2004 we suffered back to back 50 point losses

    I see this as 2018 and it in no way resembles any season before

    That’s what is so exciting about it , we have finally grown a set and are prepared to get down and dirty with any club and back our defence

    Our defensive mind set barring a few weeks in 2005 has been an embarrassment up until now



  • @:

    2004 we suffered back to back 50 point losses

    I see this as 2018 and it in no way resembles any season before

    That’s what is so exciting about it , we have finally grown a set and are prepared to get down and dirty with any club and back our defence

    Our defensive mind set barring a few weeks in 2005 has been an embarrassment up until now

    Hodgos talking about recruitment & culture that spanned several seasons, and youre plucking a couple of 2 week periods outta youre rear end



  • @:

    @:

    2004 we suffered back to back 50 point losses

    I see this as 2018 and it in no way resembles any season before

    That’s what is so exciting about it , we have finally grown a set and are prepared to get down and dirty with any club and back our defence

    Our defensive mind set barring a few weeks in 2005 has been an embarrassment up until now

    Hodgos talking about recruitment & culture that spanned several seasons, and youre plucking a couple of 2 week periods outta youre rear end

    Well 2005 was a 4 week period for starters , but we did recruit well in 2004

    My point is why does have every promising start have to come back to 2005 Ink , no matter what the subject

    As someone else said 2010-11 were far better overall seasons , no premiership of course , but at least we showed signs of playing grinding footy

    But when you had Gibbs ,Payten , Dwyer ,Woods ,Heighington , Ellis ,Fulton ,Fifita etc it becomes a damn sight easier



  • @:

    True to an extent, but there isn’t the potency in attack. Definitely don’t have anything that resembles an 18 year old Marshall.

    I think this is a really valid point GNR, until we get some genuine game breakers (cue smoking gun) then we are not going to realise our full potential.



  • I’m just glad that they are talking to a former Wests Tigers player for once, instead of Elias or Roach.



  • Yes i agree, you cant campare this group to any previous team and i dont want to. I hope its a completely new era for the tigers like nothing before that will continue for years.



  • @:

    @:

    @:

    2004 we suffered back to back 50 point losses

    I see this as 2018 and it in no way resembles any season before

    That’s what is so exciting about it , we have finally grown a set and are prepared to get down and dirty with any club and back our defence

    Our defensive mind set barring a few weeks in 2005 has been an embarrassment up until now

    Hodgos talking about recruitment & culture that spanned several seasons, and youre plucking a couple of 2 week periods outta youre rear end

    Well 2005 was a 4 week period for starters , but we did recruit well in 2004

    My point is why does have every promising start have to come back to 2005 Ink , no matter what the subject

    As someone else said 2010-11 were far better overall seasons , no premiership of course , but at least we showed signs of playing grinding footy

    But when you had Gibbs ,Payten , Dwyer ,Woods ,Heighington , Ellis ,Fulton ,Fifita etc it becomes a damn sight easier

    Forget the Title.
    Hodgo……yes Hodgo, is talking about 04
    Recruitment, culture
    He wasnt here in 10 & 11


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