Souths’ title anniversary honoured
THE Wayne Bennett premiership that Sydney forgets will be celebrated by Souths in Brisbane tonight.
A reunion for the Souths premiership side from 1985 will be held at the Souths Leagues Club at Davies Park.
Bennett, coach of the Magpies team which stunned Wynnum-Manly 10-8 in the grand final, and skipper Mal Meninga will be interviewed at the 180-person function.
Hodges made his debut for the Broncos as a 17-year-old in the 2000 season, playing wing against the Canberra Raiders. He finishes his career 15 years later, with 13 Tests and 24 State of Origin appearances.
He also won two premierships, one with the Roosters in 2002 and another with Brisbane in 2006.
The 2006 premiership victory can largely be attributed to Hodges and Bennett’s decision to move him to fullback late in the season which transformed the team.
Hodges treasures his relationship with Bennett. They have an enduring friendship.
The pair clashed in 2001
Meninga, Gary Belcher and the late Peter Jackson all moved to Canberra after the win and Bennett followed as Raiders co-coach in 1987.
“We had lost the 1984 grand final to Wynnum 48-6, so if we hadn’t won the following year, who knows where Wayne’s coaching career would have gone,’’ Souths chief executive Jim McClelland said.
Most of the team will attend to mark a season where Souths won four of the five grand finals they played that day.