And now are you glad we have signed Ben Hunt ?

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by Rob Dragon, May 12, 2017.

  1. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    Agreed.
    I was taking the view that if Field can start well he would likely put himself in a position to get some time in the halves in FG if we talk about opportunities to blood some of the younger players. It’s a big if based on the coach taking a punt.
     
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  2. Frank Facer

    Frank Facer Juniors

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    Isn't origin going to be stand alone now and no clubs will be missing players through origin? That is what I thought.
     
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  3. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    You could be right. But is it all 3 games?
     
  4. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

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    So Friz will probably be our only guy called up. Don't know if that's a good or a bad thing.
     
  5. dragonssamy61

    dragonssamy61 Bench

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    No only 2 games the last on is not.
    Unless I'm wrong
     
  6. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    I’m selfish and don’t want any chosen. I do agree though it does help players improve. Frizz & Hunt are sure things with Vaughan as a chance only if the selectors get over their obsession with Aaron ‘balsa’ Woods.
     
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  7. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    Mate, I think you’re right there.
     
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  8. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    Only one game is standalone.
     
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  9. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    @Frank Facer - you’re answer mate.

    Thanks JDHD. With 2 games as split rounds then that’s 2 opportunities for some new selection.
     
  10. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    Yeah, they'll be taking Vaughan, Frizell and De Belin (Joey's involved with the Blues and he has a massive man crush on JDB), plus Hunt might get a shot unless they go with Munster and Morgan.
     
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  11. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    I think Hunt will get selected.

    And I forgot about Joey and his love of JDB(I mean who doesn’t)?
     
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  12. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    I wouldn't be surprised if JDB had a restraining order out agains Joey tbh
     
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  13. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    It must run in the family because I am sure Matty Johns is stalking Jake & Tom Turbo.
     
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  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    [​IMG]

    NRL NEWS

    Hunt the right fix for Dragons in 2018
    Author
    Michael Chammas Chief Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 12 Dec 2017, 03:16 PM

    NRL Fantasy 2018

    Paul McGregor sat down with Ben Hunt at a Wollongong restaurant in January to tell him why he needed him.

    To tell him why the St George Illawarra Dragons needed him. It’s the same reason the club regularly checked in on Hunt throughout his final year at the Brisbane Broncos. The reason why the Dragons coach flew to Brisbane at the end of the season for lunch with the man most believe holds the key to the future of the organisation.

    “He [McGregor] spoke about his time at the Dragons and said that throughout his time at the club, the only thing he felt like they never had was a true halfback,” Hunt told NRL.com.

    “He said he was looking for a halfback that was just a halfback, not a five-eighth. He wanted someone that could steer the boys around the park. He said he wanted someone that would let Gareth [Widdop] play his footy.”

    The Dragons have had plenty of quality pivots at the club since the joint venture’s formation in 1999. Trent Barrett, Anthony Mundine, Jamie Soward.

    [​IMG]
    But they’ve never possessed a top-line halfback. Even when they won the premiership in 2010 under the tutelage of Wayne Bennett, they did so with a makeshift No.7 in Ben Hornby.

    It’s why they paid big bucks to lure Hunt south on a five-year deal worth in excess of $1 million per season.

    It was a deal that changed the NRL landscape. Hunt didn’t know it at the time, but the huge contract would become the barometer for all off contract and disgruntled NRL players in what would be the biggest year of player movement in recent memory.

    “I heard a bit of chatter about what I was on and people saying ‘he’s getting this much, so I should get this much’,” Hunt said.

    “Hearing that stuff, it did make me feel a bit funny to hear people referencing me about what they should be getting. They should be talking about Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk and those blokes.

    “I think the way the game is going the salary cap keeps creeping up and the prices for quality players are going to keep creeping up as well. Whatever a club is willing to pay someone for their position, you get what you can.”

    The 27-year-old, who will move to the Sutherland Shire to start the new chapter of his career, is not feeling any greater expectation than what he has already experienced during his career.

    “I don’t think there can be any more pressure on a half in the comp than in Brisbane,” Hunt said.

    “Pressure doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m pretty good with it.”

    There was a time Hunt was nothing more than a bits and pieces player. A stop-gap solution. He played more than 60 games off the bench before he finally was given a genuine opportunity to make the permanent move into Brisbane’s halves.

    Hunt credits Anthony Griffin for having a significant impact on his career as he was the coach who first showed the faith in him to become a regular No.7.

    “It sunk into my head that this might be it forever,” Hunt said.

    “That all I could be was the bloke who filled the utility role off the bench. But at the end of 2013 Anthony Griffin gave me a chance to play in the halves.

    “That off-season he told me I would be the No.7. That gave me the confidence that I finally felt comfortable in first grade. That I belonged.”

    The criticism for the Dragons under McGregor’s watch has been their inability to attack with the same level of potency as the top sides.

    They went some way to changing that in 2017, but they were unable to capitalise on a strong start to the season and missed the finals.

    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt and son Brady after Australia's World Cup match against Lebanon. :copyright:NRL Photos
    “I’ve seen it at the Broncos where we go through patches where we struggle to attack as well,” Hunt said.

    “You get in and train really hard with a decent squad, you’ll be able to get your attack going. Look at what Gareth did this year – he was winning games by himself down there.

    ‘’If we can get a good combination going and start working with Cameron McInnes – I think he’s a good little hooker, I think we’ll get the attack firing for sure.

    “I want to go down there and bring something to the Dragons that they need. I want to come down and be the halfback they wanted.”

    The Dragons have played finals football once since Wayne Bennett left at the end of 2011.

    Even then, they scraped into the playoffs in eighth position and were bundled out in week one. Failure won’t be tolerated in 2018, especially after blew a golden opportunity last season with a final-round loss to Canterbury Bulldogs.

    But as McGregor mentioned to Hunt back in January, there’s always been one key ingredient missing.

    “If I can bring what I know I can bring, and looking at the team we’ve got, I think we can finish in the top four,” Hunt said.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/13/hunt-the-right-fix-for-dragons-in-2018/
     
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  15. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

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  16. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

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    Strong words... I hope he settles in OK but I'm actually optimistic for what he might bring to the team. TBH though, I think Graham has been our best signing. Someone with a voice. Quietly optimistic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017 at 1:03 AM
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  17. TomRedVRiver

    TomRedVRiver Juniors

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    I'm going to say something that a lot of people here won't like but I believe to be a reality.

    I've done a lot of analysis on Hunt's game, watched him closely over the last year or so, read countless pages of Broncos' forum pages and i've come to the conclusion that Hunt is not a classic organising-style halfback.
    Now, hear me out.
    Hunt is elite, one of the strongest running halves i've seen for some time, has a nice passing game and a good short kicking game, but I feel like he plays his best football when its off the cuff. He is at his best when he's playing ad-lib football and being able to pick and choose when he attacks, much like the classic 5/8 does (we saw this a lot when he was playing hooker this year as well). He can make a few questionable decisions when the weight of the team is on his shoulders at halfback, even though he's trying his heart out. His long kicking game isn't the greatest either and seems to find it hard to get his team out of trouble at times. It's still a good kicking game however, but it's not in the Cronk/Thurston/Cleary/Morgan/Taylor bracket.
    I rarely see him do what those REALLY elite halfbacks do, which is shouting orders at their players, moving the forwards into position, calming the troops down etc. I find it interesting considering Mary's comments, because I feel like it's Hunt who needs that organising halfback next to him so he can play his off-the-cuff style game.

    Don't get me wrong, I WANT this guy to be our halfback, he is in the elite bracket of players and is always team first, but I just think that Gareth will need to do a little more organising than Mary thinks.
     
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  18. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

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    Your summation is a well thought out plan. Widdop has to be 50/50 for this combo to work. I think it could work. I'm hoping it does.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017 at 1:04 AM
  19. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    Hopefully they're equally dangerous and opposition teams can't just rush Widdop to kill our attack like this year (because, y'know, the other half was McCrone).
     
  20. Smurf

    Smurf Juniors

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    I for one am glad we signed Ben Hunt
    From memory Billy Smith was last genuine half back superstar we had .
     

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