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Ben still in the Hunt for Broncos No.6
Wayne Heming
16:23 AEST Wed Jul 18 2012
Ben Hunt
Young Bronco Ben Hunt is still hoping to wear the coveted No.6 jumper for the NRL side.

It was always going to be a character test for either Corey Norman or Ben Hunt if they missed securing Brisbane's prized No.6 jumper worn by some of the club's greats.

The talented youngsters started pre-season training late last year knowing one of them would get the nod from coach Anthony Griffin to replace Darren Lockyer.

Hunt came to the club on a scholarship as a 13-year-old along with Gerard Beale, both recommended by Brisbane's legendary talent scout Cyril Connell.

"I'd just started high school and Cyril brought us down for a few training camps," Hunt said on Wednesday.

"We trained with the first grade side and us young boys were lagging a long way behind.

"I remember Shaun Berrigan giving us a spray and getting into us because, if we missed the times, he and the other Brisbane players had to also do the penalties."

Most of the pre-season talk centred on the battle between Hunt and Norman for Lockyer's position.

The cards fell Norman's way.

The big bonus for Griffin, though, has been the key role Hunt is playing off the bench as a perfect back-up to starting hooker Andrew McCullough.

His attitude, despite his obvious disappointment, is a sign of his maturity and understanding of the contribution he makes every week for his teammates.

"I definitely wanted it (five-eighth spot) but Corey played great in the trials and he's held the spot all year," said Hunt ahead of Friday night's NRL derby with Gold Coast.

"I just want to do my part for the team and my role, come off the bench and try and have a bit of impact I guess and replace Andrew when he needs a break."

Hunt said Brisbane needed to go up another notch against the desperate Titans with the battle for top-eight positions so intense.

Six weeks ago, Melbourne were sailing along at the top of NRL ladder heading towards another minor premiership.

Then star fullback Billy Slater injured his knee and the minor premiership battle has opened up with the Bulldogs and Brisbane both within two points of the Storm with seven rounds to play.

"We worked very hard at the start of the year and we've got ourselves into a pretty good spot running into the last part of the year. We've got to keep that rolling," said Hunt.

"If we switch off or get complacent, we can easily fall out of the the eight. It would only take a couple of games (losses). It's that tight at the moment.

"We have to say switched on - we could finish first."

While the Titans get representative lock Ashley Harrison (toe) and winger David Mead back, they will again be without stinging hitter Greg Bird (pectoral muscle) for the big clash.


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