This ANZAC Day we're honoured to share this 2015 piece by Andrew Ferguson.
Honouring Stan Carpenter...
2 days ago
Injured Roosters centre Justin Hodges suggests there might be some jinx attached to winning the National Rugby League minor premiership.
"To win a grand final's more important ... as you saw last year with the Warriors, they were the minor premiers and we beat them (in the grand final)," Hodges said.
"And the year before that Parramatta were the minor premiers and they got beat by Newcastle.
"So I don't know if it's such a good thing," he joked.
Hodges' Roosters team-mates still have a slim chance to capture the minor premiership this weekend.
They play fellow top-four team Canberra in the national capital on Sunday but whether or not they finish at the top of the ladder is out of their hands.
To do so, Cronulla has to pull off a major upset against the Bulldogs on Saturday night, then the Roosters must beat the Raiders and and hope Parramatta can beat Penrith.
It is a tough equation and Hodges acknowledged last Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Warriors had made things difficult.
"The boys had a bit of a talk about how the loss on the weekend could have stopped them from getting the minor premiership," he said.
"But it's a good game against Canberra to play just before the finals and I think the boys are just hoping to just win this one and win this one convincingly to head into the semis pretty confident."
The Roosters will be aided by the return of utility Chris Flannery on the bench from a one-week suspension.
Meanwhile, Hodges said his injured knee is getting better every day.
Hodges tore his cruciate ligament while playing for Queensland in this year's first State of Origin match, ruling him out for the season.
"It's recovering very well, I started running about a week ago, that's a lot earlier than expected," he said.
"It's getting better every day ... (but) the finals are the big games you want to play in.
"It's going to be tough sitting on the sidelines and watching those big games."