'Significant' Hodge finger injury compounds Rebels defeat

Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:47 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Reece Hodge suffered a broken finger during the Rebels defeat to the Chiefs. Photo: Getty Images
Reece Hodge suffered a broken finger during the Rebels defeat to the Chiefs. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels centre Reece Hodge is set to be sidelined with a broken finger following their 44-25 defeat to the Chiefs.

Hodge was forced off the field in the 22nd minute after the visitors shocked the Chiefs with an early try to Alex Mafi.

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The outside centre could spend a significant stint on the sidelines, requiring surgery as the hosts ran away with the win just before and after the break.

"Hodgey is huge for us just from a leadership and work ethic perspective for the guys on the inside of him but he's got quite a significant (finger) injury there," coach Kevin Foote said after the match

"There's tendons there and the bone came out of the skin. I haven't seen the doctor yet but they were quite concerned with it.

"We'll see if we can get him operated on as soon as possible."

His absence will be offset by the return of Glen Vaihu for next week's clash with the Reds, with Wallaby Andrew Kellaway expected back in a fortnight.

The rampaging Chiefs looked to score at will as impressive fullback Shaun Stevenson scored a double.

He was backed up by winger Emoni Narawa, who sparked the Chiefs into action after their slow start.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives according to Foote.

Flyhalf Carter Gordon continues his development, setting up the first try with a perfect short ball for Hodge before delivering the looping ball to set up Mafi.

He nearly scored on multiple occasions himself, dragged into touch in the 18th minute before his intercept try was brought back for a knock-on advantage.

Along with this, captain Brad Wilkin was relentless at the breakdown whilst Pone Fa'amausili provided a point of difference off the bench.

"We came out and played some good footy even at the end but there were those phases in the middle where we just could not exit," Foote added.

"We know that Kiwi teams live off that type of Rugby so we have to be better that but when we're putting our Rugby together we're looking good."