Trent Hodkinson says he is finally playing the football he knew he was capable of and is ready to carry that confidence into next week’s State of Origin decider.
Hodkinson will enter NSW camp next week with the wind in his sails after putting in his best performance of the season in Canterbury’s 20-4 win over Melbourne on Monday night.
After coming in for criticism early in the year and sustaining pressure to hold his place in the Blues line up, he says he is getting back to his best.
Hodkinson was benched in the final 14 minutes of Monday’s game for Josh Reynolds but only after putting in a starring performance and setting up two tries.
The playmaker was also taken from the field in the dying minutes of the game preceding State of Origin II but this time it was in contrasting circumstances.
Hodkinson’s performance against the Dragons in round 13 was indifferent and the Blues were under pressure having lost Origin I.
But having weathered the storm, helped the Blues square the series and played himself into form, he felt in a positive frame of mind heading into the decider.
“I’ve copped a bit of criticism and I know deep down the way I can play footy,” he said.
“It just hasn’t been going my way early in the season so I never panicked. I knew I could come out tonight and play a good game leading into Origin.
“It’s going to help the confidence.”
Hodkinson said he wanted to sort out his future sooner than later and was mulling over several offers.
He is off-contract with the Bulldogs and appears unlikely to stay at Belmore.
He is widely tipped to sign with Newcastle while the Gold Coast are also chasing his services, though he said he hadn’t yet agreed to terms with any club.
“I’ve got a few options so I’ve just got to make the right decision and these things take time,” he said.
“I wouldn’t mind getting it sorted ASAP. We’ll see what happens.”