SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 29: Blake Austin of the Raiders runs the ball during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Canberra Raiders half Blake Austin seems set to make a shock move to hooker in a bid to kick-start the green machine’s season.

English international Josh Hodgson has left a monumental hole in the Raiders’ line-up following a serious knee injury suffered during the Rugby League World Cup.

While the side has signed Siliva Havili and Craig Garvey as back-up for the role, Blake Austin has spent time this pre-season training in the familiar role.

Before joining the Raiders outfit in 2015, Austin spent a season in Concord with the Wests Tigers, filling in almost every position bar prop for the team.

It’s heavily touted that Garvey will start the year in the number nine jersey, but it seems Austin may make the move to hooker, allowing Aidan Sezer to return to the familiar five-eighth role and promote recruit Sam Williams to halfback.

Williams rejoins the Raiders for his third stint at the club, following a short-term Super League berth.

Hodgson is expected to return during the Origin period midseason, though Austin continues to firm as a left-field replacement for the Englishman.

As it stands, Austin and Sezer will start the season in the halves with Garvey at hooker, but don’t be surprised to see Williams start the year in first-grade on the bench.

SEE ALSO:  The two sides of the coin at the crisis-ridden Bulldogs

Hivili is coming off a strong World Cup campaign for Tonga, though is expected to spend the majority of 2018 playing for the Mounties in reserve grade.

Hodgson has begun rehab and appears to be travelling along nicely after Canberra posted a video on Instagram of the hooker running on an anti-gravity treadmill.


    • Agreed. The Raiders needed something to spark their attack and this could do the trick. You have to feel for Garvey though. Each time an opportunity presents itself someone else seems to jump the queue. Havili is not natural dummy half IMO and is better suited to lock but he still appeared to have the jump on Garvey who just can’t win a trick. Poor kid.

      Austin covered the dummy half role well for the Tigers and will not let Stuart down given the opportunity. If he does well, what happens when Hodgson returns? Perhaps it might put pressure on Stuart to give Austin an opportunity as custodian as Wighton is not a FB and Austin is a natural ball runner if he can handle the ball in the air. Wighton can always fill a wing spot until Croker or Leilua are unavailable as centre is his best position ATM IMO. It would be interesting to see Cotric at FB though in any case and THAT would also be an improvement for the Raiders attack to start the season. The Raiders certainly have the team it is only a question of discipline and consistency and executing attacking plays under pressure.

      • SSTID_1970 At the end of the day, if the Raiders thought Garvey was up to it, they wouldn’t be considering moving Austin. Seems like his 2 other clubs agreed. I remember he had shocking service when he was playing for the Bulldogs

        • Fair enough josh. As a Souths junior I am happy to go into bat for the kid. He hasn’t been given the opportunity to play much first grade so that makes it difficult for him to get any experience or consistency.

          If memory serves you are a Dogs supporter so you would have a better idea then. Mate if Garvey’s service from dummy half was worse than Lichaa’s he must have been rubbish.

    • Okay I broke my promise, me attack you? Seriously, SSTID_1970? Seems to me like you are a tad over sensitive. The big difference is, I do not need back up, unlike you. This is so hilarious.

    • And STILL no answer to some very direct and fair questions. That is your usual response when you are lost for words kitty “hilarious”, “I’m laughing so hard right now” etc. Nervous laughter no doubt, aware that everyone can see you dodging the question and lost at sea.

      For the record I am not hurt or insulted or emotional or about to break down. Men are made of tougher stuff kitty. I’m simply fed up with the double standards on this site that allow some free license and an unfair advantage over others. That a few are held accountable for their words while others get a free pass because of their age and gender.

      My words are scrutinised under a microscope more than ANYONE else on this site. Why? Why are others allowed to say or do far worse without being challenged but I am expected to answer the questions or challenges of others when this us not reciprocated? It stops tonight.

      I will no longer be singled out while others are ignored for the same or worse or while the same profiles that are my most common accusers say nothing or worse, are guilty of the same actions I am accused of. The hypocrisy is just too ridiculous.

      Since you won’t answer my questions then I will answer them on your behalf. You have no more right to launch personal attacks because you are a woman or to attack MY gender than I do to attack you persomally or attack your gender. No more free passes girls. You want equality then accept ALL that that entails.

      Thanks for the “debate” kitty. You would have made a great politician. You don’t answer any questions, you laugh at the questions asked of you and dodge answering them in favour of making personal attacks instead and in the end it’s all just a game and you have nothing of substance to say and you put me to sleep just as easily. I look forward to our next “question time”. And yes, I am being ironic. You truly do belong in the Stone Age with Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble “Baby Puss” (that’s Fred Flinrstones pet saber-tooth tiger! Look it up.) 😂😂😂

    • I have never attacked you, nor anyone else, SSTID_1970. If you, and the others, have mistaken my comments as an attack, then that is your problem, not mine.

    • “If you, and the others, have mistaken my comments as an attack, then that is your problem, not mine.”

      This was just your most recent effort on the “Tony Williams charged with drink driving” story:

      panthers2017 January 26, 2018 at 12:13 pm
      Are you suffering for the little man syndrome, SSTID_1970? By the way, that question was rhetorical.

      panthers2017 January 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm
      …“Short man syndrome: Another name for the short or little man syndrome is a napoleon complex. Sometimes men with short stature may feel inferior and over-compensate for it.”

      And this one was from back when you went by the name panthers14 before you got punted (there are plenty here who remember you from both and try to deny and I will reprint your admission that you are one and the same.

      panthers14 December 10, 2016 at 7:15 am
      You are a precious little man. I shall not use any of those words any more, as those words upsets little boys like yourself, who do not know the meaning of them. I hope you do have a long sleep, on a permanent basis.

      You wished that I was dead! That I was “sleeping with the fishes”. YOUR words! It doesn’t get much more personal then that. That’s even worse then you calling my team the Rabbitohs “TOXIC!” You may think you are a class act kitten, but you’re not. You really are not.

    • “It doesn’t get much more personal then that”, “That’s even worse then you calling my team”

      So I guess the red marker pen must have dried up. I left a host of corrections to tempt you but perhaps you are too busy choking on your own words? Bahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • Yes I did say that in the PAST. You are not a angel either, SSTID_1970, build a bridge and climb over it.

    • panthers2017 January 26, 2018 at 9:05 pm
      I have never attacked you, nor anyone else, SSTID_1970

      OK then kitten. I’ll move on but I just wanted to make it clear for all here that you were lying when you said that you don’t make personal attacks. Beware ZT kitten has claws and will use them in lieu of debating an issue on it’s merits. Hardly fair though for women to get away with this (especially when they are a serial offender) while men are continually challenged and hauled over the coals for far less. Come on ZT let’s drag things into the 21st century and insist on the SAME standards for ALL who post on here. And get off my back for retaliating to the clowns who swing first and then cry when they get hit.

    • And that included “kids” (who we have no actual PROOF are in fact kids) who want to shoot off their mouths on an open forum with adults who want to argue and start getting personal when they are cornered and then start crying because they need adult supervision and cushions to fall on.

    • And let’s be clear, this “kid” is almost old enough to vote and be in the army! Perhaps they need to grow up and stop falling into the same patterns of behaviour that attract negative attention. Including insisting other people are wrong without being able to provide proof, never apologising for overstepping the mark and getting personal and never being able to ignore a comment or agree to disagree.

    • The only one who is crying here is you SSTID-1970. You are using old posts, one from two years ago to proof your point. The only hypocritical thing that I am doing is responding when I said that I won’t. I do not owe you an apology, simple.

    • The only one who is crying here is you SSTID-1970. You are using old posts, one from two years ago to prove your point. The only hypocritical thing that I am doing is responding when I said that I won’t. I do not owe you an apology, simple.

    • Just like a woman to want to have the last word! LOL

      I went that far back because it was a pretty severe example of just how far, and how low, you are prepared to go. There are many other examples both before and after your brief hiatus from posting on this site. It was an example of “a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots”. Nothing has changed with you and nothing ever will. I just wish you could stick to an argument though without getting insulting or personal. I will debate you on the issues and on the facts any day of the week but you are clearly not up to it.

      Btw kitten, I have NEVER EVER EVER seen YOU apologise to ANYONE! It is just NOT something you are capable of with all your arrogance. You only laugh at people rather than debate an issue on it’s merits.

      OK, I’m done (unless your final response goes too far…)

      [insert last word from one angry female who is craving attention here]

    • What makes you, SSTID, think we are not all held to the same standard on ZT?

      You and your special friend labelled me MULTIPLE times – back in ‘16 – since you want to bring this up – a gorilla, a female dog, my body so hairy certain parts would be hard to locate (classy, yeah?).

      Oh, yeah: something about me burying my bones on all fours…Should I go on?

      You & your special friend – scroll back just ONE article, seeing as you just love evidence – have routinely questioned my sex. Yet you claim victimisation multiple times on this article alone.

      But that’s not harassment, is it? It’s not an “attack,” as long as it’s coming from you, is it?

      No!!! It’s “banter.” I myself must be a man – then a transsexual…or dog…would you like me to Google back to ‘16 too?

      You are an absolute bully who has successfully manipulated this site for way too long. It was way better without you.

      Panthers2017 – I’m sorry to crash in on you – it wasn’t my previous intention to do so. I will no doubt be “attacked,” as you will also be, for my input.

      There’s apparently nothing wrong with these 2 oversensitive creatures dominating every single article with mostly absolute garbage – heaven help anyone who might be ethically motivated to speak up for someone else. They find it their right to back each other to the hilt – perhaps I should elaborate on sexual innuendo like a they routinely do & “attack” all & sundry as they see fit – yet anyone else who even comes CLOSE doing the same is accused of some sort of illogical collusion.

      Heaven help anyone who opposes them.

      Enough is enough.

    • No worries, Danielle, and I thank you for defending me. I was thinking about you, and the abuse you copped. I’m not bothered by these two, I find them amusing.

  1. I dont think Austin is the problem in that halves pairing, its really Sezer in my eyes. When Sezer plays well he is one of the best but he has almost removed all running from his game. He has an excellent kicking game and passing but he has to run. Sezer is the one Id be moving not Austin who is an excellent running 6. Not a good decision from Ricky in my opinion.

    • Nah bruh, Austin has become to predictable, teams have caught on to his style. Both need to improve drastically.

      • Yeah thats a fair call. 2015 was probably Austins best year and he caught a lot by surprise you could say. I still rate him though.

      • @ ride2raid (only)

        Do you think Austin would be better at hooker than 5/8 for the Raiders? How about at FB, do you see him in that position or would he be better playing elsewhere for the Raiders like at lock as a mobile loose forward? I’m interested in your opinion as I know you follow the Raiders and know your players well and when you make a statement you won’t flip flop or back flip if someone disagrees with you.

        • Think I’d put him at hooker till Hodgson does get back. I don’t like him at 6 with sezer tho, they haven’t been able to establish a strong combo and it’s been 2 years.. I’d bench him and keep him as a mobile forward as he’s good at supporting through middle and can bring some spark around 20 min mark with his running. He can just play mr fix it like he did at the tigers.

  2. Im not a fan of so many coaches using halfs as a quick fix to there dummy half woes.Sure i understand the reasoning behind it but IMO i dont think it will get you a title.I see your dummy as one of the remaining positions that is truly a specialist position.The attributes one must have is far greater than what alot seem to understand and its from years of playing in the position you learn this.Sure the basics are obvious but theres so much more to it right down to breathing techniques while in play,positional play.Referees are tried to be taught coming thru how the need to understand the short cuts on the field is so important.This is a instinct a dummy must naturally have an cant be taught.Yes some halfs will have this but alot wont.And yes alot of dummys were halfs coming thru the juniors but most are in the number 9 well before first grade.When did a team last win the comp with a half playing 9

    • ParraMatt, I thought moving Peter Wallace to hooker was a dumb move but the Panthers struck gold with that move (OK, I’ll give Barney Rubble that one – although the suggestion probably came from Fred Flintsone).

      “I see your dummy as one of the remaining positions that is truly a specialist position.”

      So not a case “as long as the ball gets to the intended receiver it’s good enough” then? Next you will be saying that “quality service from dummy half” actually matters! OK, now that I have gotten that out of my system… you are spot on ParraMatt. That is one of the MAIN reasons why the Storm have been SO good for so long, they have the best in the business in this position in Cam Smith (can’t stand him but I will give him that). Smith plays the opposition like a maestro plays a Stradivarius violin. Playing someone out of position at dummy half is often the single most reason why a teams attack fails and their momentum is killed. So many times I have seen a backline look crisp and moving as one or forwards running into gaps only to have the pass go astray or be misdirected or on other occasions a dummy half choose the wrong option and either way an opportunity is wasted.

      “This is a instinct a dummy must naturally have an cant be taught.”

      Great point! Instincts CANNOT be taught, THAT is why it is SO important for that game at grassroots level that these things are identified early and kids are placed in the correct positions. Let’s talk about “the elephant in the room” at a grassroots level… the POLITICS that goes on, with the coaches son, or the coaches best mates kid etc. getting a position in the spine they are just not cut out for. Other kids who possess the instincts and the ability to respond to them and were born for these positions are moved elsewhere (square pegs in round holes, I bang on about it all the time). If we are honest, either playing the game or supporting our kids who play the game, we have all seen it. It is much, much worse in soccer by the way. This needs to be changed FAST. But how? There is a real shortage of quality hookers and halves these days. It seems everyone is more interested in being a FB. I have played FB and loved it but it is NOT for everybody. The same thing goes for the halves and hooker (i.e. dummy half).

      Honestly, I can see how moving DCE to hooker could work but I question the timing of it at this point as there are so few options to cover the halves at Manly it would be weakening a crucial position in order to fill another. That would be like removing the pillar of a foundation to use it somewhere else. You are still going to have a BIG problem.

  3. Oh, wow. When did I or Panthers take on a political agenda? That’s your forte, SSTID.

    I dId say in a previous post that crazy responses like yours were inevitable. You did EXACTLY what I predicted.

  4. “ piss off! I am sick of the 2 of you making this a forum for women’s rights.”


    You & your special friend are self-declared best-buds – you both just LOVE to remind of us of your relationship.

    I’m lucky to post every few months; Panthers hasn’t been around for quite a long time & we DON’T profess to be mates, like the pair of you.

    Neither of us have declared ANYTHING about gender – YOU have, at every opportunity.

    Perhaps is you with gender-related issues (?). Remove “perhaps” from that statement.

      • I’ve never understood why you think being a decent human being is akin to being labelled a stupid 80’s term, SSTID.

        In YOUR world, I AM VERY MUCH PC – coz bigotry is ugly – it’s your active intellectual choice to be politically ugly & you choose to voice that ugliness all too often on a site intended for FOOTY!

        Get back to basics…we all might just leave you alone when you do.


  5. So here’s a thought. Look at my last post (above) under ParraMatt. How about mak8ng a relevant, on topic cobtribution. Think about it instead of an endless exchange of feminist back slapping.

    • Cobtirbution? You may want to spell check before posting. Hey, you have started this, and has turned this into a male, vs female thing. How about this, don’t respond on things that I post, and like wise I shall do the same?

      • Another cheap shot. I typed that with one while holding my youngest child’s hand in the other distracted shopping at the supermarket. My eyesight is also tested typing in small print with fat thumbs (FTS) so have a laugh at that as well.

        You seriously are a pest kitten and an intellectual lightweight like your bosom buddy. There is an ENDLESS flow of misspelled words by others on this site that neither you or your mate pick up. The truth is you are both friendless hypocrites obssessed with getting attention who deeply resent the fact that I can think, argue and debate rings around you both combined. All here know it as well.

        Neither of you have the capacity to discuss anything of relevance to this site in any depth. danielle has no idea about the game at all and you can only discuss it at the most basic level and then you are blinded by club loyalty.

        Seriously, WHY are you both here? Readers Digest are always looking for new members to help with their spell checking and grammar correction.

    • Oh and you turning this into a male bias isn’t? The same with dragging things up from years ago, not to mention pointing out the faults of both Danielle, and myself, while painting yourself as the victim? You have called both Danielle, and myself, as intellectual lightweight? Well no doubt we are more intelligent than what you are. This has proven that you are a hypocrite.

      • Post something relevant and on topic or stay silent. Trying to ALWAYS have the last word is so juvenile.

        Still not one comment with any insight or relevance to the one I challenged you to post under. Are you up to it or not?

        January 27, 2018 at 5:32 am
        I’m not a fan of so many coaches using halfs as a quick fix to there dummy half woes.

        • I am responding. So I agree with him, so what? Challenge me, in what area? Come on you are just bitter about being pulled into line by females. You can give it out, but, can not take it when it is returned.

        • “we are more intelligent than what you are.”

          Than what you are? Classic! I will frame that comment. Yes THAT is proof of your level of intelligence.

          Prove it! Post on topic on the above discussion. I will put my relevant on topic posts up against both yours and danielle’s any day. How many people have asked for either of your opinions? I await your on topic contribution to the above discussion. Put up or shut up!

        • “ReportI am responding. So I agree with him, so what? ”

          You’re right. If that is the best you can offer to the discussion and have no original opinion of your own it would be best for you to remain silent… IF that is possible?

        • I see that I have to spell this out to you. You do not control me, one bit. I do not have to prove a thing to you. You can not control me. You have proven yourself to be a bully. You have restarted this, not me. I have already proven the fact that Danielle, and myself, have more brain cells than what you do. I am not doing so again.

        • “Danielle, and myself, have more brain cells than what you do.”

          “we are more intelligent than what you are.”

          Than what you are? Bahahahahahaha 😂😂😂

          You have nothing to offer and it burns you up inside. I pity you.

        • You have used “than what you do.” twice! I NEVER have.

          No, that is you as you truly are. I am going back to making further positive contributions to the site content in the knowledge I have exposed you on this story as a liar, a hypocrite, an abusive tr0ll that stoops to personal attacks and an intellectual lightweight who knows very little about the game. I am done with you both. Stay on your side of the fence and I will stay on mine.

          You are both clearly being protected by those that control this site who are already well aware of how little you both contribute to the site.

        • So do I, Danielle, I take it as a compliment when SSTID_1970 uses our arguments, and attempts to put it back onto us.

    • I would’ve been more than happy to comment – until I read your last nasty barb.

      You can’t post a genuine RL question with a barb like that…unless you are a complete & utter fool. Which leaves me thinking….

  6. “You are both clearly being protected by those that control this site who are already well aware of how little you both contribute to the site.”

    If we contribute so little, why would “they” protect us, Genius?

  7. “You have used “than what you do.” twice! I NEVER have.”

    Yeah! So get that into ya!

    Wtf is that even supposed to mean?

  8. Most of my posts this arvo have disappeared into cyberspace so I’m now exercising considerable caution to avoid further wasted time: my issue with the biggest sook on this site lies in this one individual who BELIEVES this place is a vehicle for his own personal blog – I’m so so so sick & tired of the hijacking of this place for IDIOTS to express their socio-political views.

    Let’s jusy get back to footy!


    • “Let’s jusy get back to footy!”

      You contribute NOTHING in any case. I do and you can’t stand it which is why you continue to sabotage my posts whenever the opportunity arises.

      I WILL go back to posting on topic. You NEVER will and you know it.

      • Would you like to a reference to some sit-com/ movie that none of us have ever seen or care to see?!?

        As much as you’d like to think I care nothing for RL, you are WRONG. Entirely wrong.

        Go on – go Google something from 2001 to slam me.

        The way you treated Holmesy was DEPLORABLE. You your special friend have bullied him endlessly because he challenges you.

        All he wants to do is talk footy.

        All you want is your own personal blog: so, go & do that!

        & spare us ALL of your hate-filled socio-political garbage.

  9. @ Zero Tackle

    By standing by and allowing this garbage you are encouraging it.

    Check my posts over the last 24 hours and compare them with these 2 muppets. Seriously this site has become a politically correct feminist appreciation forum. Neither can talk about the game or make relevant worthwhile contributions to this site just flood each forum with this BS and you allow it.

    It should all be removed.

    • & I’ve sent a number of emails to ZT asking them to either remove you completely from this site or to at least ask you to BEHAVE.

    • This would be dead by now, SSTID_1970, if it wasn’t for you. Again you are not the victim. Danielle, and myself, are defending ourselves against attacks by you. Again you are not the victim.

  10. Whilst I think Austin to hooker would be interesting, I just cant see it happening. I can’t find any information anywhere that suggests a positional change is on the cards. There is plenty however about Sezer and Austin wanting to accept greater responsibilities as they will be without a dominant hooker and how they want to develop their combination as the teams halves. I hate the phrase but I think this is “fake news”, particularly as there is no references to any stories from credible journalists or quotes from any of the players/coaching staff.

    • @ gregjm

      It’s good to see someone here finally posting something relevant to RL.

      A lot of these stories lately I think have just been speculation (like about Inglis moving to the centres when the coach and GI have stated he will be playing FB).

      Austin has played at hooker for the Tigers and did a great job. The Raiders have options in the halves with Sam Williams playing HB and Sezer shifting to 5/8. Although it is an option unless there is a quote from Stuart supporting this then it is probably just speculation from one journo only.

    • Definitely worth a shot though. Austin has been languishing at star performer early last year to baggage this yeah.

        • Don’t worry, kitten won’t be correcting you. You are “sisters” after all. Save the hate for the men! LOL

      • So enlighten us all with your extensive knowledge of the game and tell us what is Austin’s best position? Also, is he better suited elsewhere given the extended absence of the Raiders hooker, I won’t name him you will have to research THAT for yourself. We are all waiting to here your in depth opinion on this. Astound me!

        • No cheating! THAT was for your bosom buddy and you KNEW it. It is NOT necessarily Austin’s best position or the one that would be in the Raiders best interests for him to play in this year given “the hookers” extended absense. But it’s way too late to get on my good side kitten. Now go and find a saucer of milk and a scratching post and let danielle answer for “herself”.

  11. So do you “girls” think this is in any way witty or clever or is anything other than bullying and tr0lling then you are deluded. You are both vapid, vacuous hypocrites and all of ZT can now see you both for what you truly are. Keep going. It just paints you BOTH is a worse light. It kills you both that you are irrelevant and unappreciated on this site. But when you are so shallow and so petty with no idea about the game it is hardly a surprise.

    I especially loved how you picked up one type of mine kitten and turned a blind eye to to your bosom buddies mistakes. Thanks so much for proving my point yet again. Neither of you are interested in contributing positively to this site you are only trying to make yourselves look bigger by standing on my shoulders. Well I won’t give either of you the attention any more. You just don’t deserve it.

    Thanks so much for a wonderful display of exactly what can happen when you let two stupid women loose on a public forum. If Zero Tackle don’t remove all of your ridiculous, irrelevant rants it will prove exactly how far this site has fallen to accommodate a politically correct world gone mad.

    @ all GENUINE ZT contributors

    Enjoy the feminist contribution to this site.

  12. you do make contributions sparingly… that was due to editing on the fly without rechecking (at least I’m honest).

Comments are closed.