SUNSHINE Coast Sea Eagles captain Phil Morwood says his side will not have any issues covering the likely absence of star halfback Trent Hodkinson in today’s match against the Central Comets.
With a number of Manly players in doubt through injury, Hodkinson is on standby to make his NRL debut tomorrow against Parramatta.
It is likely Kawana junior Ben Whiddon will slot into the halves for Sunshine Coast alongside Manly young-gun Daly Cherry-Evans.
Whiddon came off the bench in last weekend’s round-one win against the Northern Pride in Cairns and Morwood said the utility was more than capable of filling Hodkinson’s big shoes.
“I’m not sure what the go is with Hodko,” Morwood said yesterday.
“I’ll guess we’ll find out what Desy’s (Des Hasler, Manly coach) got planned for him soon.
“If he gets the call-up, then best of luck to him but I’m sure Ben Whiddon will cover well.
“Daly’s a solid, quality player. He’s gelled with the side very well even though he’s only been here a couple of times.”
Late yesterday, Whiddon said he was still preparing to come off the bench and play a utility role for coach Brandon Costin.
“If Hodko doesn’t play it will depend on how Costo wants to run things,” he said.
“He might just want to run with one half again. It worked well last year.”
Whiddon returned to the Queensland Cup last weekend for the first time since early 2009.
He slotted into hooker for about 20 minutes to give Cameron Joyce a break and said he enjoyed every minute of it.
“I haven’t played hooker for a couple of years and I loved it,” he said.
“It was good being right in the middle of all the action.
“I think I’m in the best form I’ve ever been in. The confidence is the biggest thing.
“After the trials I felt like I played really well.”
SUNSHINE COAST v CENTRAL: Today, Stockland Park, 2pm
Sunshine Coast’s Phil Morwood heads for the line against the Northern Pride last September.