Young burns for another GF shot at Raiders

Hudson Young missed last year's run to the NRL grand final through suspension but the Canberra lock is in career-best form on the eve of this year's finals.

SIA SOLIOLA
SIA SOLIOLA Picture: Renee McKay/Getty Images

Hudson Young has tried to wipe last year's horrors from his mind but admits it will drive him in his desire to earn another shot at an NRL grand final.

Young missed Canberra's run to the decider last year after twice being charged with making dangerous contact with a player's eyes, missing 13 games in total.

He then had to sit through a hellish pre-season, spending 14 weeks in the rehabilitation group after hurting his knee tripping over assistant coach Brett White.

The COVID-19 break also extended his time on the sidelines, meaning even if his knee was fixed he would ultimately have to wait nine-and-a-half months between games.

But with another finals series just a fortnight away, Young is now playing the best football of his career.

He ran 180 metres and scored a try in Saturday's win over St George Illawarra and has broken the line four times in the past four weeks.

"Yeah, 100 per cent (last year drives me)," Young said.

"Missing one last year, it's always going to eat at me until we win one at the Raiders.

"It was tough there for a bit in the pre-season and then COVID hit knowing you can't play.

"I just had to change my mindset and only doing what I could control."

Young knows the bigger issue of gouging can't consume him though.

Both his charges related to dangerous contact rather than an actual gouge and he has not had any similar issues this season.

"That's probably where I went wrong last year, I got it wrong the first time and then I probably kept sweating on it," he said.

"I don't even think about it any more. I know it's not a part of my game."

Young's success has also come with him spending time in the second row filling in for John Bateman, before returning to his preferred position of lock.

Meanwhile Canberra will at least get some relief against the Warriors next Sunday.

Sia Soliola will return from a facial fracture after 11 weeks out, following initial fears the off-contract veteran would not play again this year.

Coach Ricky Stuart is now not expecting Emre Guler (ankle) back in 2020 but only gives Corey Horsburgh (foot) a faint hope if the Raiders go deep into the finals.