So in case you missed it the four nations started last night. Who cares? No one really, but I’ll push on. I’m a league fan who proudly supports the Raiders and Queensland through the good times and the bad. However when it comes to international rugby league I usually cheer for the Kiwis because going for the overwhelming favourites in league, is in my opinion, unaustralian.
This year is different. I’m switching to England. The Ashes usually keeps me from having any empathy for English people, but with the promotion of new Canberra Raiders recruit Josh Hodgson to starting hooker for the Lions that has all changed. CARN ENGLAND!
Admittedly England’s stand in captain James Graham is tough to cheer for at the moment. In the grand final I was waiting for him to shove his thumbs into Sam Burgess’s skull and make his head explode a la Game of Thrones.
But never mind that. The most important thing about this Four Nations tournament is that it helps prepare the Raiders new hooker for 2015. Since the great Steve Walters and the hard working Simon Woolford the Raiders have searched for 8 fucking years to find a good first grade hooker. We’ve had to watch the struggles of Lincoln Withers, Glenn Buttriss, Travis Waddell, Kurt Baptise, Matt McIllwrick, Alan Tongue (great lock, horrendous hooker) and of course Josh McCrone. And after the worst Raiders season I’ve ever had to endure I’m prematurely announcing that the wait is over.
Early reviews are mixed as England scraped over the line against Samoa on the weekend. The English team has a new halves combination in Gareth Widdop and Matty Smith as well as Josh Hodgson. English coach Steve Mcnamara said of the new faces: “They’re going to get better as they go along. They’ve only known each other a week…I don’t think they’d even met each other before this week.”
While Josh Hodgson wasn’t amazing he performed admirably in his first international with 48 metres and 22 tackles and that’s all I need to keep me interested in this Four Nations tournament. Steady performances in a successful tournament that will create the foundation for the resurrection of the mighty Raiders in 2015. F@#k Australia. Carn England! Carn Josh Hodgson! Carn the Raiders!