The Raiders’ nightmare week has turned even uglier, Canberra tonight crashing to a 44-16 defeat at the hands of the Roosters.
A bombshell rocked the Raiders when Canberra and homesick English halfback George Williams parted ways in bitter circumstances.
Just days later, the Raiders have fallen to a seventh loss from their last eight games, starting hot but getting blasted by the Tricolours in a forgettable second half at Central Coast Stadium.
When Hodgson defended close mate Williams amid his rocky departure, some reporters suggested the veteran hooker had fallen out with the Raiders.
But the England international slammed those suggestions and said Canberra must keep fighting in a push to revive their season.
“We’re working as hard as we can and everyone’s buying in. We’ve had it tough and we had another tough week this week,” Hodgson said on Fox League’s post-match coverage.
“It kind of came out wrong in terms of what I was trying to do. I was just trying to look after a mate and protect my mate and the headlines make it sound like I’m trying to take a dig at the club.
“Not a chance. I love this club. This club has given me a home away from my own place and I was just trying to defend a mate down in Canberra … We defend each other to the hill and especially in these times. You figure out who your true friends are in life when you’re going through the tough times and that’s what we’re figuring out as a club.
“We’ve just got to keep coming out swinging. We obviously need to fix it and it’s a brutal sport, but we’re doing everything we can.”
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart insisted in his post-match press conference that the camp remained a tight band.
“I think we showed you when we got to the game that there was a lot of energy and good play,” Stuart said.
“We had good control of the game for 30 minutes and then it falls away. If we didn’t start that way I’d say it’s (the Williams exit) really affected us. But it hasn’t. It didn’t affect because the boys got here, they were upbeat.
“I think you could only imagine how disheartened they are and we all.”