Moses Mbye in frame for injured Trent Hodkinson
CANTERBURY Bulldogs rookie Moses Mbye is preparing to lead his team into the most important game of the season as semi-final hero Trent Hodkinson awaits scans on his injured knee.
Mbye, the former Noosa Pirate, could be tasked with directing play from halfback in what would be the biggest match of his career.
"We will see how Trent pulls up after his knee knock last night and go from there but there is no word yet," Mbye said.
"We will get his scans back and then Des will make the call."
Hodkinson went down early in Saturday night's 18-17 win over Manly with medical staff so concerned they signalled for the medical cart to remove him from the field.
The cart was eventually waved away before the No.7 was helped from the field.
Hodkinson returned in the second half to kick two field goals to get the Bulldogs home against a fast-finishing Manly. The Canterbury No.7 said he heard a pop in his knee after colliding with Sea Eagles centre Jamie Lyon.
He said he hoped to be available for Saturday night's blockbuster against the Panthers and would do everything possible to make that happen.
But should Hodkinson not play, Mbye has proved to be a capable replacement after deputising at halfback and five-eighth while Hodkinson and team mate Josh Reynolds were on Origin duty for New South Wales. He has made eight NRL appearances for the Bulldogs and was 18th man for Saturday night's clash against the Sea Eagles.
"I warmed up with the boys and they really lifted against Manly when we were under the pump, which is what you have to do in semi-finals," Mbye said.
"Des (Hasler) is pretty well known for getting his sides up for semi-finals and the boys respect that and really lifted for it.
"Everyone is feeling pretty good after a win so it is a good mood around the club at the moment."
Mbye admitted Canterbury have a more desirable run to the grand final than the Roosters after Penrith pipped the men from Bondi 19-18 last week.
The Roosters must now beat the South Sydney juggernaut to claim a place in the grand final. "It is not going to be easy but I would rather pull Penrith in the draw," Mbye said. "We are 100 % confident."