Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC - Tough taskmaster Brett Hodgson made me a better player says Leeds’ Brad Dwyer

HAVING been on the end of a Brett Hodgson “spray” as team-mates, Leeds Rhinos hooker Brad Dwyer is looking to infuriate the Hull FC head coach as an opponent tomorrow evening.

Key influence: Rhinos Brad Dwyer says Hull coach Brett Hodgson could be a tough taskmaster when they played at Warrington - but it helped make hikm a better player. Picture Tony Johnson

Leeds face their Betfred Super League rivals at Emerald Headingley in a game which sees the Rhinos finally play in front of supporters again for the first time in 444 days.

With a crowd of 4,000 in attendance, Dwyer is certainly excited by that prospect but he is also keen on getting one over his former colleague who taught him some harsh lessons earlier in his career.

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Back in 2012, Dwyer was still just a teenage rookie coming through the ranks at Warrington Wolves when the revered Australian full-back Hodgson enjoyed his Indian summer there.

Hodgson, 43, is now thriving in his first head coach role having lost just two games since taking over at Hull in the autumn and guiding them to a Challenge Cup semi-final in a fortnight’s time.

Dwyer is not surprised by that given his own experiences with the former New South Wales State of Origin star.

“I wouldn’t have played much with Hodgo as I was still just coming through, so maybe 10 games a year,” he recalled to The Yorkshire Post.

“But what I do remember is he drove standards. With me being a dummy-half, he demanded that the ball was on the money.

High standards: Hull FC coach and former Huddersfield and warrington player Brett Hodgson. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“He’s probably one of the best full-backs I played with; he always had the knack of being where he needed to be on the field to do his job. He didn’t rely on size and speed, it was all just craft and being in the right place.

“I had quite a few sprays from him, though, quite a few harsh words. At the time, they were difficult to take; being a young person I just wanted to be liked and to settle in.

“You always want to impress so when you’re not it was tough.

“But when you look back, he was just driving standards and that’s benefitted my career, having people like Hodgo around me.

Available: Leeds back Richie Myler is available after serving a two-match ban. Picture: YPN

“That’s what I want around me now.”

Hull’s own players might have experienced similar following Monday’s 27-10 home loss to Catalans Dragons.

Dwyer added: “I got some strong words from him on a few occasions.

“There was one time when I was not even on the field yet at training.

“I was lacing my boots up and was playing later that week so Mono (Michael Monaghan) or Mickey Higham must have been injured.

“I’d not even passed a ball yet and he was telling me all my passes had to be on the money that week!

“But that’s what you want and why we’re in this privileged position to have that pressure on us.”

Where Hull faltered earlier this week, Leeds found a much-needed win, defeating Wakefield Trinity 15-13 for only a second success this term.

Richard Agar’s side are looking to build on that tomorrow and start to gradually rise up the table.

They will be aided by the return of full-back Richie Myler and loose forward Zane Tetevano after two and four match bans respectively.

Dwyer added: “We have a lot to work on but, if we perform, I feel we can beat anyone.

“It’s driving standards and getting performance to where it should be for us.

“It’s not really been there at the start of the year, only in patches.

“But a complete 80-minute performance with the ball in hand and in defence is still yet to come.

“We have had a lot of reasons for that – injured players, broken pre-season – but there’s no excuses there and the focus is all on us.

“Hull have started well under Hodgo and he has them working really hard for each other. They’ll be difficult to break down.

“But we’re looking forward to getting out there – and it will be extra special knowing we’ll have fans there again.”

Espeically if he can also help frustrate Hodgson once more.