Warrington fullback Brett Hodgson was humbled after currently being awarded the Lance Todd Trophy for his starring function in the Wolves’ Challenge Cup last win more than Leeds at Wembley.
The former Wests Tigers NRL captain recovered from a heavy knock to the head early in the second half to set up two important tries in Warrington’s 35-18 win.
The 34-year-old man of the match capped a fine display by kicking five objectives and crossing for a late attempt to put the seal on the Wolves’ 3rd Challenge Cup win in 4 many years.
“It’s enormous. I have been really fortunate via my profession to play with some great gamers, win an NRL grand last and now this,” Hodgson said.
“It is really humbling to get this kind of an honour. It is going to be a thing I look back on with excellent admiration and I am very excited and honoured to accept it.”
Hodgson was concerned in the game’s main turning point when he was knocked above by a strong challenge from Leeds forward Kylie Leuluai.
Warrington led only 12-10 at the time and Hodgson, who ducked into Leuluai’s shoulder, lost possession and Brett Delaney scooped up to cross for Leeds.
But the Rhinos were to be denied as video referee Phil Bentham, right after ruling Delaney’s tackle legal, spotted a double knock-on.
Hodgson recovered and assisted place over Chris Riley and Ryan Atkins for tries that place the Wolves into a decisive lead.
Warrington went on to set up manage as Tyrone McCarthy and then Hodgson crossed, with veteran Lee Briers adding a drop target.
Hodgson’s fellow Australians Joel Monaghan and Trent Waterhouse had earlier touched down in a initial half played mostly in torrential rain.
Wolves coach Tony Smith was full of praise for Hodgson.
“He was terrific for us. He copped a pounding today. He took some knocks, but he received up. He is a hard bloke,” mentioned the brother of Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith.
“What he lacks in pace and dimension compared to other fullbacks he helps make up for in smartness … he orchestrated some of individuals tries – they have been planned by him, not the coaches.”
Leeds played their component in a aggressive very first half, scoring by way of Ian Kirke, but struggled as Warrington created momentum in the second period.
Kallum Watkins went over twice late for Leeds but they were mere consolation.
The Super League champions have now lost their past 6 appearances in the Challenge Cup last
Leeds coach Brian McDermott was bemused by Bentham’s interpretation of the Hodgson-Leuluai incident.
“I didn’t see a knock-on from anyone. I just imagined the ball came out of the back of his arm,” he explained.
“That said, Warrington have been the much better group on the day. They played effectively and deserved the win.
“We dust ourselves off, keep tight as a group, find out from it.”