AAP Rugby

Raiders rocked by serious Hodgson injury

By AAP Newswire

Ricky Stuart claims he's never faced an injury crisis like Canberra's current one after Josh Hodgson went down in their controversial 20-14 loss to Melbourne.

Hodgson's NRL season is likely over after he suffered a probably ACL tear in ther first half of the loss, becoming the fifth Raiders' forward injured long-term.

It added came on a rough night for the Raiders, with Stuart angry over a controversial sin-binning that appeared to dud the hosts at GIO Stadium.

With scores level at 6-6 and 13 minutes to play in the first half, Hodgson went down on his right knee as he changed direction.

In the same set, Bailey Simonsson was ruled by the bunker to have taken Josh Addo-Carr out while chasing a grubber near the tryline.

The Raiders' winger appeared to have eyes only for the ball and, from the next set, Melbourne made the Raiders pay as Addo-Carr scored on Simonssen's vacant wing.

"We should never have been a man down, there is no way in the world he should have been sent to the sin-bin," Stuart said.

"I don't want to make a big issue of it, but I don't understand how we use all this technology and money and we still get it wrong.

"They got it wrong, it's as simple as that. Like they did in the Manly game (last week). But they will be back in the box next week."

Adding insult to injury, Simonssen later left the field with a shoulder problem and faces a stint on the sideline.

But his absence will not hurt the Raiders as much as Hodgson's.

After releasing three forwards before the competition's restart, Canberra have now seen Sia Soliola, Emre Guler and Corey Horsburgh go down in the past fortnight.

John Bateman is also still a long way off returning from a shoulder injury, while Siliva Havili or Tom Starling will likely now play out the year at dummy-half.

"I haven't had (an injury hole like this) one," Stuart said.

"I just asked them after the game to keep turning up with that same attitude and desire and competitiveness."

Melbourne were still impressive, having now beaten last year's two grand finalists in successive weeks without star five-eighth Cameron Munster.

Wearing a V on their jersey to honour people locked down in Victoria, they lost Jesse Bromwich to a knee injury early

They held out on their line firmly in the first half, despite at one stage making four straight first-tackle errors at their own end.

Ryan Papenhuyzen scored one of the tries of the weekend with a length-of-the-field effort to make it 20-6 midway through the second half.

The Storm fullback scooped up a George Williams grubber from close to his own line, and was able to change direction and streak downfield to score.

"That was a real turning point in the game for us," Bellamy said.

"He can do some things other people can't do because of his pace.

"I was happy with our effort and the way we hung in there, after we made it really hard on ourselves."

Canberra could also only blame themselves in some instances.

Melbourne's first try through Brenko Lee only came when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad made a mess of batting a Ryley Jacks grubber dead.

And Elliott Whitehead bombed a certain try in the second half when he bust free from 20 metres out, but fell short and knocked on as he rolled the ball over the line.

Tries to Nick Cotrick and Nicoll-Klokstad late gave them some faint hope, before a Hail Mary play from a last-minute kickoff fell flat.