THE Canberra Raiders’ premiership odds and the Dally M market on one of their stars has been slashed by after an impressive start to the 2016 season.
Opening the season as $29 outsiders to win the 2016 NRL premiership, the Raiders have been wound in to $11.00 hopefuls.
The move comes after hooker Josh Hodgson’s brilliant start to the 2016 campaign, which sees the English export leading the Dally M voting count after round three of the NRL season.
The 26-year-old was as long as $101 to win the coveted award at the beginning of the season, but has since plunged into $17.00. He would be the first Raider in 21 years to take home the medal.
One punter was so confident in Hodgson’s ability he placed a $200 bet at the start of the season on the UK born hooker, with a potential collect of $20,000 on offer.
Former Raiders hooker Simon Woolford has been impressed with Hodgson’s commitment since arriving at the club last year.
“He puts in hard work at training, has a great attitude and it’s transforming on to the field,” Woolford said.
“The form he has shown in the first three rounds of the season puts him right up there as one of the best dummy-halves in the competition.
“His attention to detail is top shelf and he’s reaping the rewards for all of his hard work.”
The Raiders have made a terrific start to the season, with Hodhson the catalyst.
Despite a number of injuries to key players, the Raiders remain in second position on the ladder, with no losses to their name.
The man of the moment believes it is a testament to the resilience of the group.
“There was a few people playing with some knock but that’s rugby league,” Hodgson said.
“You have to get through the tough times sometimes, and tough times make tough people.
After suffering through the second half of last season with key personale missing, the England international believes his side have what it takes to cover any holes that may emerge throughout the season.
“It [injuries to halves] is something which happened to us a couple of times last year so it wasn’t that unfamiliar.
“I’ll step into a job wherever I’m needed at the time. Sticky [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] knows that and it won’t be an issue.”
If Hodgson and the Raiders’ form is able to continue he will be just the third Canberra player in history to take home the Dally M medal.
Hodgson believes his fantastic start to the 2016 campaign is a testament to where his headspace is at after agreeing to stay with the club for a further two years.
“I was not looking to go elsewhere.” He said.
“And I am a firm believer in that you play your best rugby where you are happy and I am really happy here.”
Dally M Leaderboard
8: Josh Hodgson (Raiders)
5: Mitchell Moses (Tigers), Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
4: Manu Ma’u (Eels), Sam Burgess (Rabbitohs), Ashley Taylor (Titans), Michael Morgan (Cowboys), Agnatius Paasi (Titans).
Dally M Betting Market
Odds provided by WilliamHill.com.au
Jonathan Thurston [NQL] $5.50
James Tedesco [WST] $11.00
Sam Burgess [SOU] $11.00
Anthony Milford [BRS] $13.00
Greg Inglis [SOU] $15.00
Ben Hunt [BRS] $17.00
Josh Hodgson [CBA] $17.00
Daly Cherry-Evans [MAN] $17.00
Cooper Cronk [MEL] $21.00