Hunt lifts Bron­cos to flashy win

De­mo­li­tion derby

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PETER BADEL

BRON­COS leg­end Dar­ren Lock­yer last night hailed Ben Hunt as Bris­bane’s ver­sion of An­drew Johns af­ter the classy half­back or­ches­trated a 34- 0 rout of the Ti­tans at Sun­corp Sta­dium.

As pre­dicted, the Queens­land show­down turned into a de­mo­li­tion derby as Bris­bane’s slick tri­umvi­rate of Hunt, An­thony Mil­ford and Dar­ius Boyd teased and tor­mented the em­bat­tled Ti­tans.

Be­fore 27,665 fans, the Bron­cos ce­mented top spot with their eighth con­sec­u­tive win. If half­backs de­cide pre­mier­ships, coach Wayne Ben­nett must be re­lieved to have a tal­is­manic No. 7 in Hunt.

Lock­yer was the great­est No. 6 of his gen­er­a­tion and waged some ab­sorb­ing bat­tles with ex- New­cas­tle half Johns, who was crowned the code’s eighth Im­mor­tal in 2012.

So when the for­mer Bron­cos skip­per likened Hunt to Johns in Chan­nel 9’ s com­men­tary, the grav­ity of the com­par­i­son was com­pelling.

Hunt is not yet in Johns’ league but his first- half solo try was clas­sic “Joey” – straight­en­ing the at­tack, dum­my­ing through the line and us­ing lower- body strength to surge past the hap­less full­back. “That re­minds you of An­drew Johns,” Lock­yer hollered. “He has it all this kid.”

With Hunt in cruise con­trol, the Bron­cos bolted to an 18- 0 half- time lead be­fore a spite­ful sec­ond- half which saw Adam Blair re­ported for a 20 min­utes af­ter the break through El­liot, Sam Moa and James Maloney to move the score to 26- 8 and put the re­sult be­yond doubt. The win keeps the Roost­ers sit­ting com­fort­ably in the top four with six rounds of the reg­u­lar sea­son re­main­ing, while the Tigers re­main rooted to the foot of the NRL lad­der.

Ri­val cus­to­di­ans Roger Tuiv­asa- Sheck and James Tedesco were the best for their shot on Kane El­gey 44th minute.

The rookie Ti­tans half­back ( con­cus­sion) did not re­turn to the field and to com­pound the Coast’s plight, Josh Hoff­man was booked for knee­ing Jor­dan Kahu in the 61st minute.

While Hunt was su­perb, Bris­bane had weapons all over the park. Back- rower Alex Glenn ran like Johnny Raper in his pomp and Mil­ford



a re­spec­tive sides, with Maloney com­ing into his own for the Roost­ers af­ter the break fol­low­ing a slow first half in front of 10,186 fans.

Chris Lawrence limped off in the sec­ond minute for the Tigers with an an­kle in­jury and didn’t re­turn.

Martin Tau­pau was put on re­port and sin- binned with four min­utes to play for strik­ing Maloney. showed lethal vi­sion, cre­at­ing tries for Jar­rod Wal­lace and Glenn with ra­zor- sharp short balls.

In­side 22 min­utes, Boyd in­jected him­self and used his speed to get out­side Nene Mac­don­ald be­fore mo­men­tum took him across the try­line.

Then came sublime three- card trick in­volv­ing Boyd and Hunt, who sliced through af­ter Ti­tans prop Ig­natius Paasi be­came so ner­vous he swal­lowed a dummy and lunged at the Bron­cos full­back.

The Ti­tans weren’t ex­actly ter­ri­ble last night.

Their ruck de­fence could have been tighter, but on the score of class, the Ti­tans and Bron­cos are po­lar op­po­sites with di­a­met­ri­cally- op­posed am­bi­tions.

Pic­ture: AAP/ DAN PELED

ON FIRE: Ben Hunt of the Bris­bane Bron­cos scores a try dur­ing last night’s 34- 0 crush­ing of the Ti­tans.

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