DECISION TIME: James Dodd making the line-out options for the Dubbo Roos against Forbes last weekend. The rookie hooker is one of many young players in the club this year but for Saturday’s big game against Narromine Gorillas drops back to seconds.James Dodd is one of the fresh young faces that coach Dubbo Kangaroos coach Geoff Koerstz has given first grade experience to this season.
Nanjing Night Net

He’s had just three games in the first fifteen and by his own admission he played ‘shocking’ in the side’s 17-3 victory over Forbes Rhinos at No.1 Oval last Saturday.

Sadly that performance has led to him being named in second grade for Saturday’s game against Narromine Gorillas.

Instead Lyndon Davis gets to wear the No.2 guernsey in first grade.

But instead of looking at the negative side of the performances, Dodd sees last week’s game as part of his apprenticeship on the way to establishing himself as a first grade regular.

“I played shocking but that can happen to anyone. You have your off days and get beat. Fortunately we got away with it with a win,” he said.

“The closeness of the game didn’t help my situation as every call and every throw from the sideline for possession was vital and unfortunately that got to me.

“But I’m sure I’ll learn from that experience and take that to training and work on the weaknesses. I’ll also being looking at the next game and in turn hoping for a similar game and to see how I will react to it in a more positive way.

“These three games that I’ve had have been a roller coaster for me. I was shocked to get the call up in the first place but again the older guys came up and congratulated me and that made me feel more relaxed for the weekend.

“Geoff said to me to work in close, be there all the time and to value my throws in the line-outs.

“But I also knew that I had to perform in first grade on a week to week basis to keep my spot. All the positions are competitive and you can feed as though you have a permanent place in the side.”

Dodd is no rookie when it comes to rugby. He’s won premierships in juniors with the Roos, toured overseas with Country under-18s … but the game is very different now in senior football.

“Everyone is helping me out and I’m really thankful for that,” he said.

“Stepping up from Colts and second grade to the first fifteen also meant getting used to the different calls.

“That’s something that I’ve really had to concentrate on. The calls are very different and you have to adapt to them to suit different situations and to hit the mark with different players.

“The other important thing that I’ve found is the physical punishment of my body. The tight football is much harder and the games so much quicker so there’s a bigger call on your fitness.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.