Hodgson, a Liverpool local is set to leave Sydney and the NRL for the English Super League to setup with Huddersfield on a 2-year deal in 2009.
Hodgo agreed his final showdown at Campbelltown will be an emotional one but says competition points was his top priority. The Wests Tigers do need the points too, with results falling their way in the past fortnight – the Tigers get a second chance of sorts to make a jump for the Top 8.
â€œIt’s time for us to stand up now,â€ Hodgson said. â€œThe ante has been upped as far as the value of a win is concerned at this stage of the season. This is the time of the NRL year the real contenders stand up.
â€œLook at Friday nightâ€™s games â€“ Gold Coast got up with a big boilover, taking down the Roosters and Newcastle did the same against Penrith.
â€œEvery year at Wests Tigers we’ve got so much promise, but we havenâ€™t made it since we won the premiership [in 2005]. Every game is a big game for us from now on.â€
The Tigers sit just 2 competition points outside the top 8t, but a big win over the Storm tonight would see them knock Penrith out of 8th spot on the NRL Ladder.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a plan,â€ Hodgson said. â€œIf theyâ€™ve got a weakness – even if itâ€™s just a minor one – then we can send our attention towards it. But the bottom line is that weâ€™ve got to maximise our possession and our opportunities.
â€œThe Storm have got nine players who took part in the State of Origin series and theyâ€™re still not far out of that.
â€œPotentially, they could still be a bit weary and perhaps not at their best, but we have to go into this game believing that they are going to be at their best, or weâ€™re going to be asking for trouble.
â€œWe know what weâ€™re capable of, but we need to show it against Melbourne.â€