Throughout the 2020 season the Raiders had outstanding performers across the park. Whether they were international stars or rookies coming into the team, each of them played a significant role in the season just gone.
In this series, we’ll look at each position and each of the players who played there for the Green Machine as we review the 2020 season.
This time we’re taking a look at the hookers.
The Breakdown Josh Hodgson – nine games
Siliva Havili – 23 games
Tom Starling – 14 games, four tries
The Storyline Josh Hodgson was in fine form during the opening stages of the 2020 season. The captain racked up try assists in the opening two rounds before playing a significant role in helping the Raiders defeat eventual premiers, the Melbourne Storm.
However, in the reverse fixture, the captain suffered a season ending injury.
As a result, Siliva Havili and Tom Starling stepped up to the plate in style.
Havili, who originally came to the Raiders to play hooker when Hodgson suffered his first ACL injury, had been consistently in the side but playing more as a lock with short spells in games at dummy half.
Starling came into the side having not played competitively since NSW Cup was cancelled in March but didn’t miss a beat.
For the opening weeks of the split roles, Havili started matches before Starling joined the fray midway through the first half to play out the rest of the game. Havili would subsequently have a second stint at lock.
As Starling grew into the role, Ricky Stuart chopped and changed who would start and who would come off the bench depending on the fixture.
The partnership proved to be effective as the Raiders won 11 of the 14 remaining fixtures of the 2020 season.
The Big Matches Round 3 – Raiders 22 d Storm 6 After a two month halt in the competition, Josh Hodgson returned to the field like he hadn’t been away.
The Raiders travelled to Melbourne hoping to claim three consecutive wins at AAMI Park and managed to do so thanks to a mammoth performance from the captain.