The world of Rugby League.

rleague.com

Unleash the Origin Coal Train: Hodges

Justin Hodges has urged Queensland coach Mal Meninga to "let the Coal Train loose" on NSW in Wednesday night's State of Origin sellout at Etihad Stadium.
Unleash the Origin Coal Train: Hodges
by NRL

By Wayne Heming

MELBOURNE, May 19 AAP - Justin Hodges has urged Queensland coach Mal Meninga to "let the Coal Train loose" on NSW in Wednesday night's State of Origin sellout at Etihad Stadium.

The Coal Train is 122kg South Sydney back-rower Dave Taylor, who made his run-on debut for Australia this year in Auckland and who Queensland selectors found impossible to leave out after NSW selected their own intimidator in the 118kg Tony "T-Rex Williams" on their bench.

"Dave's a giant. With a guy his size, you just have to let him loose on the footy field," said Hodges, who is grateful Williams attacks on the opposite side to where he defends.

Taylor has taken giant strides with his fitness this season after it was a big issue early in his career with Brisbane and again with Souths when he switched NRL clubs in 2010.

"Dave's been going great and playing some good games for Souths," said Hodges.

"He looks the fittest I've seen him.

"You can't tie him down. You have to let him roam. They have a guy like T-Rex and he's the same sort of guy - you have to let the big boys go and see what they do.

"Dave scares a lot of people so it will be good having him on our side."

Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk said the Maroons had to pick the right time to inject Taylor into the battle to maximise the damage he could cause.

"We've got to be smart about how we use big Dave," said Cronk.

"There's no point in just throwing him to a big pack of forwards because the big bodies can hold his strength.

"But for us ball players, Johnathan (Thurston) and myself, we can pick him up on smaller men, depending how Mal (Meninga) uses him obviously."

"Likewise, when the Blues introduce Williams into the game, we'll have to make sure we've got the right systems in place to nullify the impact he can have."

Cronk said he and Thurston had known each other and played together enough not to be strangers in their first Origin paired in the halves.

"It's not like we've been thrown in the deep end. I've known JT a while and we've played in rep teams together before," the Melbourne star said.

"It doesn't matter about positions in Origin because Origin is about how mentally tough you are.

"It tests your character and you will have to compete for 80 minutes."

Cronk said his rival Todd Carney would be no different from any Origin debutant and be gripped by nerves.

"Whether you've played one Origin or 30 Origins, you always get tested in that atmosphere," he said.

"He's a gifted footballer and a great player who deserves his opportunity, but he is just one of many players who can impact the game."

Queensland had two sessions at Geelong's AFL base on Saturday with rugby league goal posts erected.


Your thoughts?


You need to login or register to contribute here



Follow rleague.com on Facebook

Related Profiles

View profile pages including statistics, results, news, photos and more on all of the following...

Popular News Stories