One of the season’s most compelling one-on-one battles will resume on Saturday when Justin Hodges and Michael Jennings go head-to-head in round 24 of the NRL.
Jennings and the retiring Hodges will resume their State of Origin hostilities when the Sydney Roosters host Brisbane in a top-of-the-table clash at Allianz Stadium.
Hodges missed Brisbane’s round six win over the Roosters with injury but dominated Jennings when he was one of Queensland’s best in their Origin I win.
The Roosters and NSW centre struck back with a man-of-the-match effort in the Blues’ victory in game two at the MCG.
But Jennings will have the chance to get his own back this weekend in a top-two clash which could decide the minor premiership.
“It will be awesome, I love playing against quality centres and seeing where I am at,” Jennings told AAP.
“It will be great to go up against him again. It is always something to look forward to. If we don’t see each other again in the finals it will be for the last time, which will be something different.”
The Roosters are enjoying a nine-game winning streak for the first time since 2002, but have looked vulnerable in recent wins over Parramatta, Newcastle and Canterbury.
Brisbane come into the clash on the back of a confidence-boosting thrashing of St George Illawarra after back-to-back losses to the Bulldogs and Manly.
“We have shown composure to get those wins over the last few weeks, which is a good thing,” Jennings said.
“They’re not the best wins but to win those games, there are some lessons learned there. We have some tough games coming up and hopefully we can take those lessons forward.
“Our standards are high so that (defence) is really unacceptable four us. Everything we do is based around our defence and the last three weeks haven’t been our best.
“It is going to be a big game, Brisbane got us up there last time in golden point, so the challenge is there.”