Kim­mor­ley guid­ing Bull­dog pups

Townsville Bulletin - - Rugby League -

CAN­TER­BURY half­back Trent H o d k i n s o n c r e d i t s B r e t t Kim­mor­ley’s men­tor­ship for his strong start to the sea­son.

Hod­kin­son has been in su­perb form since ar­riv­ing at the club from Manly and the Bull­dogs are the only un­beaten team in the NRL, hav­ing won all three games so far.

The 22-year-old said halves coach Kim­mor­ley, who re­tired at the end of last sea­son, had been in­stru­men­tal in help­ing him and an­other new sign­ing, five-eighth Kris Keat­ing, hit the ground run­ning at their new club.

‘‘ Noddy was a great player, and to have the chance to work with some­one like him was a real fac­tor in me com­ing to the club, and I have learned a great deal from him,’’ Hod­kin­son said.

‘‘ He has re­ally worked on our kick­ing games and spends a lot of time talk­ing to us about the game and what to ex­pect, he is an ex­cel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tor and has been a big help.’’

For­mer Parr a matta j uni o r Hod­kin­son ad­mits leav­ing Manly was the tough­est de­ci­sion of his short ca­reer, but re­vealed the re­ac­tion from his for­mer coach Des Hasler had been more than gen­er­ous.

‘‘ Leav­ing Manly was very hard, I had my first full sea­son in first­grade there and I re­ally loved the place,’’ Hod­kin­son said.

‘‘ Des was very dis­ap­pointed to lose me, but he said he fully r e s p e c t e d my d e c i s i o n a n d wished me all the best which meant a lot to me.

‘‘ Telling the boys I was go­ing was also very hard but they un­der­stood, but I am de­lighted to be here at the ’ Dogs and the start we have had is bet­ter than we could have hoped for con­sid­er­ing we have so many new faces.’’

Kim­mor­ley said the close re­la­tion­ship Hod­kin­son and Keat­ing had off the field was one of the main fac­tors in their early suc­cess on it.

The pair played to­gether as school­boys and in Par­ra­matta’s ju­nior sides.

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