Hodgson looks for positives after defeat

PA Sport
Brett Hodgson, right, is confident Warrington will come back stronger after their Grand Final loss
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Brett Hodgson, right, is confident Warrington will come back stronger after their Grand Final loss

Warrington's veteran full-back Brett Hodgson insists his side can bounce back from their maiden Grand Final defeat.

The Challenge Cup winners were clear favourites to complete the double but were soundly beaten by defending champions Leeds at Old Trafford. Warrington were on course to end a 57-year wait to be crowned champions after tries from Richie Myler, Joel Monaghan and Ryan Atkins, plus three goals from Hodgson, put them 18-14 in front early in the second half.

But the Rhinos finished the stronger side to run out 26-18 victors, and Hodgson said: "It's hurting at the moment but sometimes you've just got to put your hand up and say we weren't good enough today. It's good for experience if nothing else, with a great crowd and a great atmosphere."

He added: "The better side won on the night, there's no doubt about that. Leeds know how to play this kind of football. They stayed composed even when they went behind a couple of times.

"I think up to half-time it was a good, even contest. We came out in the second half and gained a little bit of momentum back but we just failed to play good field position and they got the momentum of playing on our tryline."

The 34-year-old Hodgson is now hoping the painful defeat will stand Warrington in good stead for the future and he can draw on his own experiences to give them encouragement.

He lost an NRL Grand Final with Parramatta in 2001 before going on to win the title with Wests Tigers four years later.

The 2009 Man of Steel also lost his first Challenge Cup final with Huddersfield three years ago before tasting victory at Wembley this year when he won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in their 35-18 win over Leeds.

"We'll learn from it, there's no doubt about that," said Hodgson, who recently signed a new two-year contract. "I think it will make us stronger as a group.

"It's too early to talk about whether we'll get back there or not. Next year is a whole different ball game."

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