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Hodgson is happy to use his head for win
10:00am Friday 2nd November 2012 in Sport
LAST action hero Paul Hodgson has played down the importance of his match-winning tackle against Sale Sharks — insisting he was just doing his job as part of a well-drilled defensive unit.
The scrum-half, who was making his first Aviva Premiership appearance for Warriors since joining from London Irish during the summer, shot across the back-line to make a dramatic corner-flag tackle on Sale replacement Will Addison, who looked for all the world set to score and give his side a chance to snatch a draw.
However, never-say-die Hodgson wasn’t prepared to let that happen and put his body on the line to prevent the score and ensure Warriors claimed an important 23-16 victory.
Given the 30-year-old, who has won six England caps, was making his first league start since battling back from a series of concussion-related lay-offs, his head-long tackle on Addison showed real guts and proved he is fully confident in his health.
“My first concussion was in October last year and I had three in total last season, so it has obviously been tough at times,” Hodgson admitted.
“The concussions I’ve had in the past are not at all something I think about during matches. I had some good medical care at London Irish and it’s been unbelievable here too, which I’m very thankful for. It never got to the career-threatening stage, I still take things week by week, but I’m in good shape.
“I felt a bit groggy after the Sale game, but the medical team and the management have been brilliant and by Monday I was feeling absolutely fine again. I wasn’t out cold, but I can’t remember too much of it either — it was a bit of a stinger-type injury and the medical team were ultra-cautious just to make sure. Within five minutes or so, I was up on my feet and back in the changing room.”
Hodgson added: “It was an unbelievable team effort at the end, which is more the point than the tackle I made. When we do well together, it is a team effort — it was courageous defence at the end by everyone to hold them out for a long time.
“I’m sure all the other scrum-halves in the club would have made a similar tackle and it was the work done by the other 14 men on the park that allowed me to have a one-on-one in the corner.
“Will is an exceptionally quick guy, but I managed to corner-flag him and used my experience with the angles to get there and make it. I thought I always had a chance. I was targeting the ball and felt if I could make a good hit it would either mean him going off the pitch or the ball being dislodged.”
On the back of last Friday’s victory over Sale, Hodgson is now eager to taste victory with Warriors once again — starting with tomorrow’s tough trip to Devon to face Exeter Chiefs (3pm).
He said: “The games I have played down at Exeter have all been extremely tough — they are very good at what they do, a hard-working team and we have to make sure that we match that and take our opportunites when they come because they won’t give up too many. It will be a tough ding-dong, but one that we are ready for.
“They pride themselves on their work-rate and try to get through as many actions as possible in a game. From one to 23 they seem to contribute a lot with their bench boys always adding something.”