With the NRL heading into the final five rounds of the regular season and the top eight battle heating up, we thought we would take a look at the top 5 players who have made a resurgence this season following an injury-riddled or just plain average previous season.
5. Josh Hodgson
For those of you who are wondering why Josh Hodgson features on this list, hear me out. While Hodgson had a respectable back half of 2018, the England international only played 11 games after sustaining an ACL injury at the 2017 World Cup.
Having returned early from his injury in 2018, Hodgson put up great numbers, registering nine try assists and one try over the last 11 games of the season. While the Englishmen supercharged the Raiders attack over the back half of the season, Canberra fell short finishing the regular season in 10th.
However, off the back of a far more agile forward pack and a refreshed backline, the Raiders have returned to the 2016 form that saw them finish second. This has coincided with Hodgson changing his style of play and taking a more responsible role as a game manager as opposed to the attacking weapon he has been utilised as in previous seasons.
While he still has respectable attacking numbers, registering one try and eight assists over his 16 appearances, this season Hodgson has shouldered a lot more of the game managing burden with natural ball-runner Jack Wighton shifting to the halves. With the former Hull KR man taking an average of ten more touches per game than in 2018 with a career-best 102, as well as his kicking metres per game going up by almost 50% and forced dropouts having already doubled his previous best.
With Hodgson celebrating his 100th NRL game in round 20 with a try and an assist in a 12-46 drubbing of the Warriors, it’s no coincidence that the Raiders resurgence has coincided with Hodgson’s return to full fitness.