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Lance Hohaia backs himself at half-back ahead of Saints' play-off push
LANCE Hohaia believes he and Jon Wilkin have what it takes as a half-back combination to lead Saints’ final push for the play-offs.
The two internationals have linked up for Saints’ past two victories, with the 30-year-old Kiwi World Cup winner scoring the decisive try in his side’s fifth successive triumph at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday.
After being left on the sidelines for the three previous wins, Hohaia’s opportunity came about because of a head injury to 21-year-old scrum half Gareth O’Brien, whose loan spell from Warrington Wolves came to an end at the weekend.
And now, with coach Nathan Brown having praised his 80-minute displays in the stand-off role against Wakefield and London Broncos, Hohaia hopes to keep the spot for a potential duel with his former neighbour Lee Briers or even O’Brien when Wolves come to town for the penultimate Super League round on August 30.
But that could depend on the availability of hooker Stuart Howarth, who had to be carried off at Belle Vue after a clash of heads with full back Jonny Lomax while defusing the danger from the last grubber kick of the game.
“Wilko and I are both fairly experienced players and we can lead the side around,” said Hohaia, who had a long run at number six last season but has found himself at full back, centre, hooker, on the bench or not selected at times during Brown’s first year in charge.
“We’ve got a fairly good game plan that we need to stick to and Jon and I have been doing that well for the past few weeks.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully getting another opportunity, whether that’s at stand off or else
where. I’ll do my job wherever I’m asked to play.“
If Nathan likes what I’m doing he’s going to keep me in the side so it’s a matter of working hard. I know there’s other guys who can play in the role and I can play other roles as well.
“We’ve got Stuart Howarth who copped a knock at the end of the Wakefield game, while Jonny’s had a few niggles over the past few weeks so it’s a matter of picking our best side and the guys that fit the team best.
“For my part, I’m fairly happy to have had two 80-minute games and hopefully I can get stuck in for the Warrington week too.”
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